23 Aug, 2013 @ 14:15
1 min read

An un-shore future for Spain’s coastline

a spanish coastline

SPAIN is at risk of causing irreparable damage to its coastline, according to environmentalists.

The warning comes as the Spanish government approves plans to allow development to take place within 20 metres of the shore.

The controversial coastal law had previously prevented an building work from taking place within 100 metres of the beach.

Greenpeace has accused Spain of violating EU environment laws and plans to submit a petition to Brussels later in the year.

So far the campaigners have gathered 150,000 signatures.

Chiclana in Cadiz is among the top 10 most over-developed municipalities in the country, according to Greenpeace, with Vera, Torrox and Motril also being singled out
for criticism.

The three municipalities with the highest percentage of artificial surfaces within 500 metres of the coastline were all on the Costa del Sol, with Mijas (91%), Fuengirola (95%) and Marbella (90%).

Meanwhile, Casares was identified as one of the top five municipalities in relation to the speed at which the natural environment is being destroyed.

In contrast, Njiar and Almanzora were praised for having the largest areas of protected land.

“The new law worries us enormously,” said Greenpeace spokesman Pilar Marcos. “It is returning us to the 1960s in terms of environmental protection. We are taking
giant steps backwards.

“Almost half of Spain’s Mediterranean coast has already been urbanised and we can’t allow the 50% that remains to be swallowed up by bricks,” Marcos added.

Claire Wilson

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  1. Spain certainly appear to have cornered the market in how to destroy beautiful coastlines not once, but now for a second time if this happens! What about the possible implications for all those who thought they’d purchased 1st line coastal properties which could now have obscured views while they become 2nd or 3rd line properties?

  2. Only a few weeks ago Spain was telling us how great their new coastal protection law was, and now here we have (yet) another law saying coastal development can take place right on the beach, almost. You really couldn’t make up the stupidity of this country sometimes.

  3. There’s probably more to it than meets the eyes – maybe big paybacks for politicians from friendly developers. Maybe some pet major scheme right on the coastline.
    The mob in power are there for one reason only, to feather their own nests; destroying Spain’s natural resources to achieve this is second nature to them.
    Have the would-be developers of Valdequeros finally won? Seems too much of a coincidence that a couple of weeks ago cheers were raised because Andalucía had effectively shut down the project, now the ‘government’ have in effect overturned that decision. Who’s the boss in such circumstances?

  4. It is a pity that Spain haven´t not taken measures to prevent urban sprawl along the coast.

    A case could that can be avoided are the fillings in the waters surrounding Gibraltar to build residential areas, but on that subject Greenpeace has said nothing.

  5. Spain would take the necessary measures to protect the coastline if that is what the population wants and voted for it.
    Gibraltar is a tiny rock compared to the coast of Spain – I’m sure everyone living there and in the surrounding areas of Spain, as well as Greenpeace, would have protested if infill and development was a serious issue.
    There is well over a thousand kilometres of over-developed coastline in Spain, amounting to over 50%.
    The UK is a much smaller country but has managed to protect a huge amount of coastline – thousands of kilometres, because that is what the population wanted.
    Democracy is not magic – people get (with luck) what they vote for.
    Spain has many kilometres of very beautiful coastline which the developers would love to destroy, it is up to you, Anselmo, and all your compatriots to make sure they don’t. We are foreigners and we can see the dangers but we must leave it to the Spanish to decide what they want their country to look like.

  6. antonio2 you are right. Also there is a suspicious thing about the development of Gibraltar, that is the Greenpeace silence.
    My experience tells me that most of the information from Greenpeace are biased and interested.

  7. Mallorca and Minorca have much stronger restrictions on coastal development. They saw less of a crash in values and they have recovered quicker. Andalucia should study the benefits for all of that policy instead giving in to the benefits of a few, who probably live in a city elsewhere.

  8. Greenpeace is an International organisation, funded by International donations, concerned with projects which will have major impacts, many on a global scale. I doubt any national bias.
    Examples are coal mining near the Great Barrier Reef, drilling for oil in the Arctic, climate change, whale hunting, etc., etc.
    Just one reason for the attention Spain has received is that more development of what is left of its beautiful coastline will affect the lives of millions of holidaymakers throughout Europe, who also bring into the country vast sums of money to bolster the Spanish economy.
    Gibraltar is of such minor importance that it would hardly be worth a mention by comparison.

  9. Years ago I well remember CDS hillsides covered with avocado bushes and olive trees and dotted with white-washed houses and villages. Then Spain decided to allow indiscriminate building which entailed slicing off tops of hills and smaller mountains for ugly estates. Any further development nearer the coast will create an angry backlash from those with existing views.

    I could never understand that other than for greed, whilst Italy has a law I believe which bars any development which interferes with old Roman views, so their hills are generally still as they were.

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