Rare plant destroyed by emergency road repairs

    LAST UPDATED: 30 Nov, -0001 @ 00:00
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    Opposition politicians claim no environmental study was made

    OFFICIALS from the Granada provincial council allowed hundreds of protected plants to be destroyed during essential repair work on a road, according to claims.


    In documents seen by Spain newspaper Ideal, Gabriel Cañavate, the former vice president of the Diputacion de Granada, allegedly green lighted the project even after the Junta de Andalucia regional government had warned work on the La Cabra road would affect 750 Arenaria delaguardiae plants.

    The plant, which is a protected species of the sandwort family, is only found in the south west of the Granada province.

    Now, judges at the Supreme Court of Andalucia have opened an investigation into the claims after the opposition Partido Popular (PP) party filed an official complaint against council president Antonio Martinez Caler, Cañavate and the Granada environment delegate for the regional government, Gerardo Sánchez.

    PP officials believe Cañavate illegally fast-tracked the project without a prior environmental impact report. They also claim an environmental report was only published after the repairs were completed.

    A spokesman for the Diputación de Granada claims heavy machinery was to blame for the destruction of the plants.

    Cañavate resigned from his position in October 2006 over claims he did not declare all his financial assests.

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