Tarifa – Ten kilometres of white sandy beaches, unspoilt countryside and some of the best windsurfing conditions in Europe. Just 11 km across the Straits of Gibraltar at its narrowest point, this southern-most tip of Europe where the Med meets the Atlantic Ocean, enjoys spectacular views of the Rif mountains of Africa across the water.
Environmentalists, and me, are totally outraged over plans to construct a hotel and housing complex on one of Europe’s last unspoilt beaches.
The initial green light has been given by Tarifa Town Hall to build on a staggering 700,000 square metres of dunes – the equivalent of 700 football pitches – on the unspoilt Playa de Valdevaqueros.
The 84,000m² development, which is being promoted by GMT and architect Juan Munoz, will create 1,423 hotel places and 350 homes on the beautiful untouched coastline.
But green party EQUO argues that the scheme breaches EU legislation because it sits between El Estrecho and Los Alcornocales Natural Parks which are on a UNESCO protected Biosphere Reserve.
“There is still much that can be done to avoid bricking over the unspoilt Valdevaqueros beach,” said EQUO spokesman Juan Jose Lopez Uralde, who insisted the town hall’s decision was “bad news” but that “it was not over”.
“The brick economy has led us into the pit where we are now; the same recipes are not going to help us get out of it.
“The town remains committed to economic and development models which have failed in practice and only contribute to enriching the few while destroying the heritage of all.”
Meanwhile over 8,000 people have now joined a Facebook group protesting against the decision and they could do with support so please go and Like the page, Save Valdevaqueros Tarfia
But the PP Mayor of Tarifa, Juan Andres Gil, continues to defend the project and has accused the protestors of damaging the local economy.
Important Update: Please read update and statement from Tarifa Town Hall.