Last-ditch bid for talks to stop controversial housing development on Spain’s Costa Blanca

ORIHUELA mayor Carolina Gracia wants round-table talks with all ‘interested parties’ to stop the controversial Cala Mosca construction project.

The development envisages 2,274 homes being built on what has been described as the last stretch of virgin coast on the Orihuela Costa.

PSOE mayor, Carolina Gracia, said on Monday that she wanted talks with all political parties, Valencian government departments, and with developers Gomendio.

They would discuss elements for the ‘common good with respect for the environment and the rights of everybody involved’.

Carolina Gracia Orihuela Mayor
MAYOR GRACIA(Orihuela Ayuntamiento image)

The project, known as UE2 Alameda del Mar, first appeared in Orihuela’s General Plan over 30 years ago.

After a partial development was approved in 2007, opposition to the plans was led by environmentalists and residents.

In July, the last hurdle was passed after approval via a Valencian government environment impact study report.

A ‘protected’ environmental area of 40,000 square metres will have to be maintained with Cala Mosca having two endangered species, namely the cat head plant and the Tudorella sulcata snail.

Orihuela council a year ago under then PP mayor, Emilio Bascuñana, voted to approve the project- largely on the grounds that €200 million in compensation would have to be paid to developers Gomendio if their right to build is rescinded.

Carolina Gracia said: “Perhaps Orihuela does have room to build 1,000 or 4,000 homes, but it does not have to be and hopefully it will not be, in the last virgin kilometre that remains in Orihuela Costa.”

“If the construction company is willing to look for any other location in our municipal area, then it will be studied”.

A political element to Garcia’s move is that part of the deal that ousted the PP from power in April included a demand from the local Cambiemos party that they regarded opposition to the Cala Mosca development as a crucial red line.

They have threatened to withdraw support for the relatively new government council team if the project is not binned.

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