Antequera golf course in court

LAST UPDATED: 11 Oct, 2007 @ 15:29
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A COURT case has begun against the constructors behind a golf course in Villanueva del Rosario.

Among a litany of crimes, the developers Aifos and Grupo Mirador, are accused of killing around 600 oak trees and building on a historic via pecuria cattle drovers path.

The prosecution brought by environmental group Ecologistas en Accion, claims that there are numerous irregularities in permissions granted.

Backed by the province’s environment department, it claims that the development that counts a large urbanisation and commercial centre, built over 175 hectares, would see the town triple illegally in size in the next few years.

“It contravenes the law and does not meet the requirements of the environmental impact report,” a letter from the Junta de Andalucía regional government confirmed.

Despite not having all the necessary paperwork in place, the town’s current mayor Diego Gonzales, claims that various plots have already been sold.

The two companies – and until recently Palmera Properties – continue to market the “front line golf” properties between 145,000 and 223,000 euros.

As well as 1,000 houses, of which 70 per cent of the properties in stage one are said to have been sold, there will be a hotel and riding centre.

A number of buyers have already posted information on websites, including Devwatch.com claiming to have demanded their deposits back.

One buyer, who gives his name as Dave writes: “We are trying to get our deposit back but Palmera Properties now ignore my correspondence. We have written to their lawyer, who also ignores us. Plan to write to Mirador next!”

The case being heard at Antequera’s district court, heard that the two developers have broken various environmental and planning laws.

The prosecution states that the developers have already altered the flood plains of two streams and continue to landscape and flatten the land in preparation for construction work.

“They do this despite authorisation from the correct river authorities.”

The golf course was given permission by former mayor Encarnacion Martinez despite not having the right paperwork from the Junta or water authority Cuenca Mediterranea Andaluza.

Aifos is already mired in controversy after being linked to the huge Operation Malaya corruption investigation in Marbella.

Several of the company’s directors were arrested – and later bailed – on bribery charges.

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