FURIOUS villagers have slammed the ‘cloak and dagger’ methods used to pass a new marble quarry in the Axarquia.
They want to know why officials only informed their village just three days before the La Torca scheme was given the go ahead. An application was actually lodged with Periana town hall in July.
Now, residents in Periana, as well as in nearby Guaro and Zafarraya, face health problems from the dust and noise pollution.
“The way this project has been sprung upon us is an outrage,” said Briton Terry Flowers, who lives in Periana.
“It smacks of secrecy and skulduggery. The first any of us heard of it was on October 25 when we had just three days to present our objections.”
Flowers, 77, continued: “When the project was first mooted, why didn’t the local town hall publicise the fact, provide a map of the planned scheme and supply us all with written information?
“The fact we were only told of the quarry three days before it was passed is merely a token gesture to democracy,” he told the Olive Press.
Flowers, who has lived in the area since 1999, believes that the project will be a health hazard not only for those who live near the site, but those from miles around.
“We’ll be subjected to constant traffic of exceptionally heavy lorries, the vibrations of which will cause serious damage to their homes.
“But worse, constant inhalation of the dust from the quarry will present major health risks to those closest to the site.
“Given the powerful winds that blow from the sierras, this would be spread for miles in every direction,” he added.
The quarrying will see marble extracted over the next 30 years on land that is protected by regional laws, claim opponents.
Now green pressure group Ecologistas en Accion, has stepped in with six allegations and filed its official opposition with the Junta.
Firstly the group says the area is prohibited from development and classified as Hito Paisajistico, meaning that anything that could permanently alter the profile of the land is forbidden.
It also lies adjacent to a Cañada Real, a network of ancient cattle tracks which are protected.
“This project is extremely dubious,” said spokesman for the environmental group, Rafael Yus.
“The habitats of many protected species of fauna and flora will be destroyed as will underground water sources.
“The local tourist industry will also be affected by the unsightly quarry and the increased amount of traffic.” The Junta is now studying an environmental impact report on the scheme. A decision is expected early next year.