THE coast of Andalucia is saturated by bricks and mortar and the situation worsens each year.
That is the conclusion of a Greenpeace report into the state of Spain’s coastline.
The authors of the Destrucción a Toda Costa (Destruction at all Co(a)sts) study claim more than 41,000 illegal buildings line the region’s 817 kilometres of coast, with more constructed every year.
The coastline of Almería was singled out as suffering the greatest destruction. Of the almost 700,000 new homes planned for Andalucía’s coast and immediate hinterland, 320,000 will be built in that province alone with the majority set for Vera (118,000 homes) and Cuevas del Almanzora (148,000).
With the new construction, the population of Vera will increase by 2,960 per cent while Cuevas del Almanzora will grow by 3,600 per cent.
This is despite the reservoir at Cuevas del Almanzora containing just 1.5 hectometres of water out of a possible 168.
Greenpeace also slams the Junta de Andalucía for allowing “illegal” construction inside the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in Almería, which is home to several species of fauna and flora found nowhere else in Spain and the largest terrestrial maritime reserve in the western Mediterranean.
“The Junta turns a blind eye when business interests suit,” the report says after the regional government gave the green light for the construction of 350 homes on protected land near Agua Amarga.
The popular resort of Mojacar also came in for criticism in the report. There, town hall officials plan to declassify three protected areas to allow for the construction of 10,000 new homes, a hotel and a golf course.
The situation on the Atlantic coastline is worse than that in Marbella. The environment group claims Cádiz is “under attack from illegal housing” with many housing developments in Puerto de Santa María under judicial investigation.
Greenpeace criticises the construction of 40,000 “illegal” homes in the coastal town of Chiclana.
The study claims this figure is more than in all the Costa del Sol resort of Marbella, whose former administration is at the centre of a 16-month investigation into urban corruption and money laundering.
The study also claims demolition orders on many illegal buildings in the Cádiz province are yet to be carried out.
Huelva, whose coast is relatively unspoilt with only 10 per cent covered by construction, is also criticised in the report as 160,000 new homes and hotel beds are planned for resorts along the province’s coastline.
With 60 per cent of its coastline built up, further construction is planned for Málaga. New housing developments will increase the population of Mijas from 61,000 to almost half a million people while in Vélez Málaga four golf and residential complexes are planned that will see 32,000 new homes built.
Almost 80,000 new homes are planned for Estepona, increasing the town’s population from 59,000 to 230,000.
Along the Granada coast, Almuñecar was singled out for the proposed 35,000 new homes that are set to built if – or when – its revised PGOU urban expansion plan is passed by the regional government.
Salobreña was also mentioned for the future construction of almost 17,000 new homes that will increase the Costa Tropical town’s population by 200 per cent as was Motril for the Playa Granada golf complex.