Faro Council officially took over the town’s campsite on Monday (November 25), the same day that most of the campers started leaving the place they called home for years. Their departure was “peaceful” although a considerable amount of rubbish was left behind which municipal services have started removing.
Some campers are being given a few extra days to remove all of their belongings so that the council can finally ‘open the campsite to everyone’.
Faro Mayor Rogério Bacalhau refused to describe the ending to the wrangle as a “battle that was won”.
“I don’t like to use that expression. We did what we had to do which was to create a project for this area. We gave the association (of residents) one year’s notice about what was going to happen. So, it gave people time to think and remove their belongings. Our goal wasn’t to fight against anyone; this wasn’t a battle or a war,” he said.
Bacalhau added: “The goal is to have a campsite that dignifies the municipality, and that can welcome the people of Faro and those who visit us.”
But while their departure may have been peaceful, the road to get there was anything but easy.
Campers and the council have been at odds for years, but the wrangle reached its boiling point when the council informed campers that it would be ending its long-standing agreement with them, which had allowed them to live at the site since 2003, when it was closed down, and run it like a closed condominium.
The campers tried to stop the council’s plan by lodging an injunction but to no avail (click here).
Representing a €450,000 investment, the renovations will involve cleaning and reorganising the campsite, renovating the electric and water networks and creating green spaces.
The park will boast 200 tent spaces, 84 of them for large tents, as well as 24 spaces for motorhomes.
The plan is to open the park to the public by at least the end of 2020.
“We will see if we have the conditions to have it up and running by next summer. We will try, although we cannot guarantee it at the moment,” Bacalhau said.
Photos: BRUNO FILIPE PIRES/OPEN MEDIA GROUP