The 500 Metre Line

The Junta de Andalucia has just issued a decree that effectively makes the first 500 metres of coastline a no-build zone, for the moment. Even projects that have previously been accepted find themselves now frozen for at least eight months – this is to stop people rushing to begin the approved projects.

The novelty here is that this 500-metre margin cuts across land that would normally come under the jurisdiction of some municipalities. In the case of Granada, all indications are that this will affect the 7-star-hotel project in Almuñécar and the inland-marina project on Motril’s Playa Granada. In the long run, it will also affect Salobreña’s projected hotels to the west of the Peñon.

The regional Chairman of the Board of Agriculture and Environment, Luis Planas, said that the suspension will primarily affect what is known as ‘dormant land;’ meaning land that is considered building land in standing PGOU’s but have not yet been developed.

Nobody is quite sure exactly what will be affected by the decree, which will not be published until next year; hence the 8-month development freeze until it has. Once it has been published, it will contain a list of affected projects and building plots.

The decree has surprised all of the nine coastal municipalities on the Costa Tropical and a few of them are banking of developing hotel infrastructures etc. to improve their local economies; such is the case of Almuñécar for example, with the 7-start hotel.

For coastal towns like La Mamola, 500 metres just about covers the whole village and means that they will be completely paralyzed as far as developing their tourist industry. Even for Motril, it means that almost 2m sq/m of building land is lost at a stroke on Playa Granada. (PL1/PL2).

The general feeling on Costa Tropical is that Granada is being made to pay for the excesses of other provinces, such as Almería’s Algarrobico hotel scandal and, of course, the extensive excesses in Málaga. Granada has been relatively free of this irresponsibility, but nevertheless, it will pay for it, along with the pecadores (sinners).

(News: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)