Law restricts future golf courses in Andalucía

LAST UPDATED: 25 Oct, 2007 @ 12:08
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Golf in Spain

Draft could end golf-urban development links


THE construction of new golf courses in Andalucía will be heavily restricted under regional government draft proposals.

Under the new legislation, homes will not be allowed around any future golf course and all new greens will be restricted in size.

A specially-created commission will give the go ahead to new golf courses. Taking existing power away from local councils, the Olive Press understands this quango will have the final say whether a new complex can be built or not.

Currently, town halls can pass a golf and residential complex with nothing more than an environmental impact study.

This commission, which will be headed by Public Works chief Concha Gutiérrez del Castillo, will not allow land status to be changed to make way for a golf course.

Nor will any complex be allowed on land sensitive to erosion.

“The Junta de Andalucía must be applauded for bringing an end to the link between sport and urban development,” a spokesman for environmental group Ecologistas en Accion said.

The draft proposal comes at a time when more than 300 new courses are under construction or in the planning stage around the region.

Some, including the Los Merinos macro-project in Ronda and the proposed Gójar-Dilar course near Granada, have caused controversy by being constructed on or near protected land.

Already, golfers in Andalucía can choose between 95 courses – the majority of which are on the Costa del Sol.

Junta de Andalucía officials hope the bill becomes law before regional elections in March next year.

The proposed legislation has, however, met with fierce criticism from the Partido Popular (PP). The political party believes the PSOE-run regional government is “bankrupting” Andalucía’s financial future while Promotur – a collective of the region’s tourism promoters – claims the golf decree “unviable.”

Golf tourism brought 512 million euros to the region in 2006 and created hundreds of jobs.

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