By DAISY SAMPSON AND PAULO SILVESTRE
Beach bars and restaurants on Praia do Garrão near Vale do Lobo are to be demolished as part of the Polis development programme for the Ria Formosa.
In total, six beach establishments will be removed, with three new premises replacing them, leaving business owners in shock.
Paulo Jorge, the manager of Julia’s Restaurant and Bar, one of the businesses to be demolished, told the Algarve Resident: “We never expected something like this to happen here and it is very disappointing for all of our clients as we are so well known, not just in the region but also worldwide.”
He added: “We were initially sent a letter from the ARH (the Algarve regional water authority) in Faro on July 27 saying that the bar would have to be demolished but that they would then be building new smaller premises behind the restaurant. We are able to submit blind bidding for these new premises and we hope to win this but there is no guarantee.
“We plan to fight against this decision. We have been here for a long time and have 35 staff. The whole situation is very disappointing and nobody is happy about it. The final confirmation of the date we will have to close is to be sent to us on September 16. However, we expect that Julia’s will have to close permanently by the end of September.”
A spokesman from the regional water authority, ARH, told the Algarve Resident: “The six establishments are all within the area that is part of the Ria Formosa coastal programme and will be demolished as part of this polis development, which will include the requalification of the access to the beach and the parking facilities.”
He added: “We have contacted all of the owners to let them know that there will be three new premises built and that they will be required to bid for these.
“The bidding is going to be open exclusively to the six original businesses with bids being accepted until September 30.”
The plans have all been available for public consultation and discussion, he said, to give people an opportunity to oppose the developments.
The spokesman was unable to confirm when the businesses would be demolished, adding that “the entire development programme must be completed by December 31, 2012, therefore it will fall between now and then”.
Buildings have already been removed on Fuzeta Island this year as part of the Polis Litoral Ria Formosa.
The Polis programme is a development scheme covering 48 kilometres of coastal zone and 57 kilometres of lagoon area across the municipalities of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António.