MOVING IN: Diggers and machinery have been spotted doing preliminary work for a huge pylons project, despite not having permission from local town halls ©theOlivePress

SPAIN’S national electricity firm has defied Andalucia town halls by sending heavy machinery into protected areas.

It comes as the stunning Alpujarras – popularised by Chris Stewart’s Driving Over Lemons – is the target of a huge project by Red Electrica (REE).

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The Olive Press has campaigned against the state-funded company’s plans to erect over 100 electricity pylons of up to 80m high throughout the Granada region.

But in the latest twist, REE has reportedly ignored the prohibition orders slapped down by town halls in Orgiva and Lanjaron which were designed to prevent work starting.

ANGRY: Orgiva resident Steve Holdup (right) and his wife, Karen ©theOlivePress

Councillors had issued the bans over ‘environmental fears’, but REE sent in contracted diggers and dump trucks regardless, to begin preliminary groundwork.

“I’m angry that REE appears to be working without permission,” British expat Steve Holdup, living in Orgiva, told the Olive Press.

“I spoke to the digger operator to ask what on earth he was doing and he said he was ‘checking the foundations for the pylons’.”

ACTIVISTS: Members of the Di No a las Torres group protest outside the Junta de Andalucia

It comes after the Defensor del Pueblo Andaluz – the official that deals with public complaints – this month called on the Junta to express its position on the REE megaproject.

The official sent a letter penned by the Di No a las Torres platforms, which has protested against the ‘socio-economic and environmental impacts’ of the plans.

Steve and the Di No a las Torres groups helped encourage over 4,000 locals to submit alegaciones forms to the Junta in March.

If you have spotted the unlicensed red diggers in Orgiva, Lanjaron, El Pinar, Lecrin, Niguelas, Durcal, Villlamena, Padul, Otura or Alhendin, contact your local town hall or write to us at [email protected].

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