A CONTROVERSIAL new law could lead to arsonists torching valuable green spaces to open the door for developers.
Environmentalists have slammed the legislation that allows land razed by fire to be reclassified quickly for development if ruled as having an ‘overriding public interest’.
Green groups Ecologistas en Accion, SEO/BirdLife and Equo insist the change to the Forest Act will allow environmental objections to be solved with an ‘accidental’ fire.
Previously any land burnt by fire required 30 years before it could be re-zoned for building, as stated by a 2003 law.
Green party Equo spokesman, Juan Lopez de Uralde, said: “This is a return to the past.
“Previously when any objection to a development was made on environmental grounds, it would be solved by burning the land down.”
However, the PP environment Minister, Isabel García Tejerina, has defended it on the grounds that any reclassification would still be subject to a judge’s ruling.
While the president of the Spanish Forests Network (REMUFOR), Santiago Árevalo, added that the previous wait of 30 years stood in the way of important projects, such as hospitals.
He claimed: “Those people who want to be champions of the environment are those who only visit wooded areas on the weekends, and do not consider the struggles of people who actually live there.”