27 Sep, 2010 @ 09:09
1 min read

SOS – Save our Sierras

By Wendy Williams

THE Malaga authorities are to debate an audacious plan to turn the mountains that hug the Costa del Sol into a giant nature reserve.

The scheme proposed by the IU opposition party would see the Sierra de Mijas turned into a Natural Park to prevent it from being destroyed by further construction.

The urgent project is needed to protect the “huge natural wealth of the hills”, explained Malaga IU boss Pedro Moreno Brenes.

He added: “If nothing is done, the sierra could fall victim to urban speculation and become full of bricks.

“There are still many threats despite changes to the area’s town plans.

“It would be great news if the area stays protected for the use of the citizens.”

Under the plan, to be debated later this year, the hills immediately above the suburb of Churriana – close to the airport – would be protected from new construction.

The mountains – part of the Cordillera Betica range, that spread along the coast from Malaga to Fuengirola and inland to Coin and Alhaurin – are home to numerous animals, such as the genet, deer and wild deer and wild boar.

The hills that go up to 1,150m in height are also home to Imperial eagles and Eagle Owls.

The Olive Press has reported on a number occasions about the elusive wild cat – dubbed the La Cala cougar – that has been spotted in the hills.

But as the coastal towns are expanding inland there is an ever growing need to protect the sierra.

In Alhaurin, in particular, there has been constrant pressure to build in the foothills, in particular around Barranca Blanco.

Under the new plans the IU is initially seeking to alter the city of Malaga’s development plan (PGOU) to safeguard at least the Churriana part of the hills.

The party insists it is just the first step in a wider plan protecting the sierra.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. It is already destroyed and they are planning the destruction of the next mountain ranges of the Sierra de las Nieves. This virtually untouched mountain range is being threatened by yet another quarry,in fact three. The Platform Contra La Cantera Casarabonela is fighting not only the site owners but the Junta de Andalucia department of Science and Inovation.
    The Junta of Andalucia are so short sighted they would have issued hunting permits for the last Dodo. The left arm does not know what the right is doing spending hundreds of thousands euros to promote tourism in the area,then issueing licences for quarries which stops tourists coming to the area.
    It is a disgrace that people have to use their own money to fight in order to stop development of areas that are in a Reserve of the Biosphere and should be protected under the law.

  2. The area between Mijas Costa and Mijas Pueblo must surely rank as one of the worst planning abuses in southern Spain. Most of the properties are illegal and it has absolutely ruined the area, permenantly.

    Whilst all this building was going on, the authorities never questioned anything. Construction was all they cared about and as we now know, the local government issued tens of thousands of illegal building permits to allow it to happen. All I hear about is Spanish people moaning about how their construction industry has collapsed leaving them unemployed. I say thank god it has collapsed.

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