By Eloise Horsfield
THE protest against a gigantic hotel and housing complex planned for Tarifa continues to gather momentum – while local residents remain divided.
The 84,000 square metre urban development, comprising 1,423 hotel beds and 350 properties, was given the go-ahead by Tarifa Town Hall last week.
This despite the fact it will be built on 700,000 square metres of unspoilt sand dunes on a UNESCO-protected Biosphere Reserve.
On Tuesday Salvemos Valdevaqueros (Save Valdevaqueros) organised a worldwide ‘cyber action’ protest, manning social networking sites to drum up support.
Meanwhile a thousand people gathered in Tarifa’s Santa Maria place on Tuesday at a meeting organised by the town hall in support of the plan.
PP mayor Juan Andres Gil said he had organised the meeting to ‘avoid distortion’ and to give detailed information ‘about the elements of the project that have not been covered in the national press’.
The Junta’s environment councillor Luis Planas added the project ‘is perfectly compatible with sustainable development for future generations’.
Gil said: “The Valdevaqueros development has been discredited through a media campaign,” insisting it would ‘not touch the beach or the natural park’.
He added that it would provide a European example of sustainable development.
Meanwhile the mayor told online paper El Confidencial what Tarifa needs is ‘more jobs and fewer guiris’, concluding his thoughts with the throwaway comment: “To hell with ecologists.”