A GIANT developer behind the controversial plan to build thousands of houses on one of the last virgin stretches of Costa Blanca coastline has been accused of intimidation and lies.
Opposition councillors in Orihuela told the Olive Press the group used ‘fake information’ and even ‘commissioned’ spies to probe any officials opposing the plans for Cala Mosca.
“They kept bombarding Orihuela representatives with letters containing fake information,” councillor Carlos Bernabe told the Olive Press this week.
“Claims like the town hall would need to pay them a €200 million compensation if the development did not go ahead, which is a made up number,” added the leader of the local Cambiemos party.
“It is an urban atrocity and the saddest part is the mayor and her team have bought into that speech.”
His claims were backed by Antonio Cerdan, member of the local CLARO group that achieved the temporary suspension of the huge macro-project, granted by the European Parliament in 2007.
“Gomendio kept threatening all of us with the compensation claim and I’ve been told they even asked for reports on officials who were not in favour,” he added.
It comes as protesters threatened to pull down a fence that the council has approved to go up around the coastal zone where Gomendio plans to build 2,200 luxury homes.
Campaigners for Salvemos Cala Mosca protested against the project near the newly raised fence this Monday.
Their protest came as it emerged a strong national body has now stepped in to oppose the scheme.
Spain’s General Directorate for Roads has taken the development to court.
Legal proceedings have been launched which could lead to the project being declared void.
“It would mean Gomendio would need to immediately stop any works,” added Bernabe
Both Bernabe and Cerdan insist PSOE leader Carolina Gracia and Ciudadanos Urban Planning Councillor Jose Aix have helped the developer ‘in every way they could’.
“This is a speculative scheme for very rich foreigners that will destroy Cala Mosca’s unique biodiversity,” said Cerdan.
Mayor Carolina Gracia has also spoken to the Olive Press and has defended her government’s handling of Cala Mosca’s situation.
“I have never approved the project. I have never voted for it, neither in opposition nor in government. Whoever says that is lying. I have been against it from the beginning and I still am today.”
She added: “It is a project that we do not want in Orihuela. I want this last kilometre of coast free of urbanisation. But I have been mayor for a year and the project has been 30 years in the making.”
Gracia believes that the local government she represents could not do anything to stop the project.
“We cannot stop a project that has been approved by the Valencian Government Ministry of Environment, this has been communicated to us by the legal services. And yes, I recognise it is sad that it is so difficult for all administrations to stop a project that is clearly negative.”
The mayor has also criticised Cambiemos, accusing them of hypocrisy
“It was the Valencian Government led by Compromis, allies of Cambiemos in Orihuela, who gave the go-ahead to the environmental impact declaration. And no one has ever heard Cambiemos criticise them for this. I think that, because of political interest, it was easier to attack me.”
Finally, regarding Gomendio’s threats, she confirms to the Olive Press these took place.
“As I pointed out, I found it inappropriate to receive letters that, in a sense, accused me of stalling the project. Including threats of legal action against me and the town hall, with the consequent compensation. It seemed inappropriate to me, and I wanted to denounce it publicly. The €200 million quantity is not accurate.”
A Gomendio spokeswoman insisted: “I really cannot tell you anything about this.”