Expats and locals fight planning permission for restaurant on protected Spanish beach

Published:  1 May at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain
Expats and locals are protesting against planning permission for a beach club on a wild beach Biosphere Reserve.

A petition signed by almost 180,000 expats and locals is in protest against the granting of planning permission for a celebrity-backed beach club on one of Spain’s last remaining wild beaches. Valdeaqueros Beach is part of a designated Special Conservation area and is also a Biosphere Reserve for both local and migratory bird species. In an interview with local media, British expat campaigner Harry Stevenson confirmed both visitors and expats as well as locals are desperate to protect the area from urbanisation.

According to Stevenson, construction of Dani Garcia’s restaurant has already started, even although no Environmental Impact Assessment has yet to be done.
Another attempt to build in the area took place last year, but was declared illegal by an Andalusian tribunal for the same reason – the lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment. This year, several reports of infractions have been sent to local government by environmentalists, but no replies have as yet been received, prompting Stevenson’s question as to how the wrecking of this natural paradise can simply be ignored.

According to its plans, the beach bar is to be built on a wooden platform without actual foundations, with the main restaurant structure on Valdevaqueros Beach now almost completed. The ruling Spanish Junta government is infamous for its lack of concern over protected special interest sites, and had previously rejected claims that species such as the osprey would be threatened by the new development. Garcia, a three-Michelin starred chef with branches in Madrid and Marbella, has forecast his new eatery will be ready to open by June.
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