Photo: Inês Lopes/Open Media Group

Ferragudo set for major private investment

Plans to build a new golf course in Ferragudo as well as a direct road from the picturesque fishing village to Lagoa, described as a “long-time dream of the population”, were revealed last week by Lagoa Council.

Lagoa Council has celebrated the plans in a statement to the press and says that while they are led by a private developer, they will “bring benefits” to the municipality’s public spaces.

The project is led by the Pestana Hotel Group, which already manages Pestana Gramacho Residences near Ferragudo.

Indeed, the construction of the road linking Ferragudo and Lagoa is a major counterpart demanded by the local council for the hotel group’s plan to build a new golf course in the area.

There is currently no direct road between the towns, although the distance between them is minimal. Drivers can take several small and winding municipal roads, drive through Parchal and Estômbar or face traffic on the busy EN125 national road.

With this new road, which will be built along the Vale de Deus water canal, the towns will be just a “five-minute drive” away from each other, says Lagoa Council. Construction is due to begin in early 2021.
However, few official details about the project have been revealed so far.

All we know for now is that the golf course will be part of a new development entitled Pestana Ferragudo Resort and will be built just a stone’s throw away from the Gramacho Residences and Gramacho and Vale da Pinta golf courses.

The Resident contacted Pestana which declined to provide further information, stating the project is still at a “very early stage”.

In 2017 however, Pedro Lopes, Pestana Group director for the Algarve, told Barlavento newspaper that there were plans to build a 50 to 60-hectare, 18-hole golf course between Ferragudo and Carvoeiro Golfe as well as a resort with villas, apartments and gardens.

His statement at the time was light on details, and little to nothing has been said about the plans since then, with Lagoa Council’s latest statement bringing them back into the public eye.

But the new road wasn’t the only condition Pestana had to accept in order to receive the council’s ‘thumbs up’. The developer also vowed to create retention basins (used to manage rainwater runoff) to minimise the risks of sudden floods in Ferragudo. This will also allow the collected water to be used on the golf course.

The works are due to begin soon, says the local council.

“Although they are carried out by a private developer, these works will have a positive impact on public spaces and will create new jobs,” it adds.

Pestana will also have to safeguard the archaeological heritage of the 94-hectare area it will be building on, including “all the remaining wells, threshing floors, tanks” and all other historic remains.

The renovation of the ‘azinhaga’ – the word used to describe a rural trail bordered by high walls or bushes – between Poço dos Pardais and Via do Vale do Regato is also included in the deal, signed on February 28, between Pestana and the local council.

In the last paragraph of the council’s statement, Lagoa Mayor Luís Encarnação made a bold statement – that this will “likely be the last golf course” to receive a green light from the local council.

Ferragudo makeover delayed?
It has been three years since Lagoa Council announced a plan to carry out a major makeover in Ferragudo.

Costing €8 million, the project involved removing all parking and most traffic from the village’s riverside, planting more trees, and transforming the rundown and mostly dry canal that separates both parts of the village into a steady stream.

A tender for the work was due to be launched at the end of 2018, but the project has yet to move forward.

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Photo: Inês Lopes/Open Media Group
Photo: Inês Lopes/Open Media Group
Photo: Inês Lopes/Open Media Group
The new road will be built along the Vale de Deus water canal. Photo: Inês Lopes/Open Media Group
Pedro Lopes (left), the Pestana Group director for the Algarve, and Lagoa mayor Luís Encarnação