By Elena Gogmen Rueda

LOCALS worried that plans for solar power stations in some of Andalucia’s best beauty spots could affect archaeological sites and blight the area are to hold a demonstration.

They will take to the streets driving tractors in Castellar de la Frontera on Sunday (May 30) from noon.

Their biggest objection is not to the solar panels themselves, but rather their location and the installation of an electrical substation associated with ther projects.

The main solar farms are planned for sites in San Roque and a massive 900 hectare project in Jimena de la Frontera (Cadiz). 

According to Eduardo Navarro, president of campaign group SOS Campiña de Jimena, the proposed projects will take over farmland, threatening jobs, although proponents of the plants say they will bring their own employment opportunities.

Castellar De La Frontera
Castellar de la Frontera will be the site of the protest

He added that the group is not against the solar farms, but wants them built ‘in a regulated way, that doesn’t affect the archaeological sites on their land’ and doesn’t commit any ‘ecological crime’. 

But while Castellar is against the plans because of their impact on employment, in Jimena de la frontera the situation is different. 

There, opinions are equally divided between those for and against.

Most of the detractors are worried about the effect it will have on historic sites in the area. 

It has almost 30 prehistoric villages which are an important part of the villagers’ cultural identity and of which many residents are particularly proud of, and want protected.

The Castellar ayuntamiento is now working on proposals that would see existing power lines used, and new ones buried rather than blight the area with pylons and cables.

This would also minimise the impact on farmland and areas of natural beauty, as well as the town itself.

Other environmental groups are supporting SOS Campiña de Jimena, and demanding the plans be put on hold while environmentally sensitive alternatives are investigated.

These organisations emphasise that a moratorium should be put in place to allow them time to properly regulate the electrical plans.

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