Junta to protect Medina Azahara and other important sites by buying up the area around it
THE Andalucian authorities have come up with a novel way to stop illegal building: Buy up the land.
The Junta has slapped compulsory purchase orders on 29 plots near the key historic site of Medina Azahara, near Cordoba.
In a bid to protect the important zone, that was declared a National Monument in 1923, they will buy up 10 hectares of prime development land.
It is the first time the authorities have bought land close to a key historic site.
While a spokesman refused to confirm that other areas of Andalucia could be bought, a spokesman stressed the importance of Medina Azahara.
The plots, still mostly undeveloped, are all part of illegally urbanised developments sitting alongside the archaeological complex. It was from here that Cordoba Caliph Abd al-Rahman III once ruled the Arabic world.
Other homes in the illegal developments of La Gongoja II, Cordoba la Vieja and Las Pitas are still at risk of demolition.
There has been a proliferation of construction alongside the A431 road from Cordoba to Palma del Rio.
But now the area has been declared an area of Protection Especial by the Junta after considerable pressure from cultural and pressure groups.