THE Junta Andalucia has given the green light for a 30 room hotel and land development in the Cabo de Gata National Park in Almeria.

The new 4* hotel will be built on an area near the Bahia de Los Genoveses known as ‘Cortijo Las Chiqueras’.

The proposal, submitted by Torres y Gonzalez Diaz SL has been deemed ‘environmentally viable’ by the regional government, despite the land’s protected nature.

The hotel was initially planned for 2017 but the first draft was denied due to irregularities with the layout.

However modifications to the plans, re-submitted in November 2019, have now been given the go ahead.

Changes to the plan include relocating a 500 square metre portion of the hotel to better tie in with the natural landscape.

Two large parking areas have also been removed, replaced by a single 70 space parking area on a patch ‘devoid of flora and fauna’.

As part of the conditions for the granting of the final licences, the developer must obtain authorisation for its waste water and sewerage.

It must also ensure that the nearby horsehair rope factory in El Romeral remains active and untouched.

The starting budget for the groundwork of the new hotel is just over €2 million.

Included in the plans are an unpaved, 2,700 square metre parking area and a large central landscaped courtyard.

Environmental groups Amigos del Parque and Grupo Ecologistas Mediterraneo have denounced the project, calling it ‘incompatible’ with the current protection on the land.

When the plan was first brought to the table, over 6,500 signatures were collected on their petition against the hotel.

The hotel could be the first of many shelved projects that begin to see new leases of life thanks to the so-called ‘Land Grab’ bill that was passed shortly before the state of alarm.

The bill plans to simplify the classification of developable land in Andalucia to essentially open up areas of unspoiled land to construction.

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