A NEW four-lane bypass around Alhaurín would spell environmental disaster for the town.
Pressure groups have united with the town hall and the three main political parties to fight a proposal by the Junta that would see around 200 homes seized by compulsory purchase orders.
Slicing the town in two, the variante norte would obliterate the livelihoods of 1200 residents and destroy the farming area, known as Huerta Alhaurina as well as the area of special protection, known as PIL.
It would also threaten the habitats of a number of species including wildcat, mongoose, genet, weasel, beech marten and pine marten.
The 35-million euro bypass is seven kilometres in length and would take 350,000 square metres of land.
It would link the A355 between Coín and Marbella with Alhaurín el Grande via Dehesilla, Siete Caras, Fuente del Peral, Arroyo de la Villa, Dehesa, Campiñuela and Miralmonte.
Opponents say it would require the movement of massive amounts of earth using three proposed quarries and cutting off rural roads which currently serve as entrances to many fincas.
The town hall rejects the construction of the new road and has adopted an alternative plan to improve the existing infrastructure.
The three main political parties, PP, PSOE and IU all support the town hall, while numerous public groups have also expressed their support.
Around 1,700 complaints have also been officially logged from local residents.
A protest group ‘La Plataforma’ has been formed to negotiate with the Junta over the plans.
The group has already put forward a much less damaging proposal for the improvement of existing roads in the area.
Its president, ‘Pepe’ Garcia, manager of Cajasur bank in the town, told the Olive Press: “This is a hugely invasive project, which would mean the expropriation of land of a large section of the community.”
“It would also spell the destruction of many areas of local beauty and the habitats of an extensive list of flora and fauna, which are protected by law.”
Suzanne Bennett, a local biologist and teacher has completed a study on the impact of this project on the local environment.
She said: “The alternative route would require just 20,000m2. That would mean only 6.5 per cent of habitat destruction, the majority of which would tend to be roadside scrub.
“In real terms the environmental loss would be much lower.”
Her study can be downloaded on www.alhaurintoday.com along with detailed plans of the proposed bypass and an open letter to the British Consul, which can be printed and sent by anyone with an interest in stopping the project.