Finalgarve’s Praia Grande development

Dear Editor,
The following is a letter I have sent to Sr. Paulo Lemos, Secretary of State for the Environment, via the Government website ( I hope I may receive an answer.
“Exmo.Sr., I have read in the newspapers that on the advice of the CCDR Algarve you have given approval for the above huge development proposal to be built in what is a natural unspoilt area of the Algarve, which includes one of the few uncommercialised big beaches left here and a very special internationally-recognised bird sanctuary. I have also read that Finalgarve’s spokesman admits that the company is having difficulty finding the investors they need to pay for the scheme.
This is worrying news. It suggests the strong possibility that Finalgarve will start the project and then run out of money and leave yet another uncompleted development to scar the Algarve. This will mean spoiling the character of the beach and driving away the exotic birds for no benefit to anyone. It will be the worst of both worlds. It will be a lose-lose situation.
Can you please tell me what you have done in terms of conditions of approval and checking of Finalgarve’s finances to ensure that this does not happen?
As a retired architect and town-planner from UK who has lived in the Algarve since 1994, I have to say I think that the proposed scheme will be a very damaging environmental mistake, which will do harm to the whole region by spoiling two of its present great assets. I think that you and the CCDR have a responsibility to protect the Algarve from over-development. The Spanish “Costas” should be a warning to you of what lax planning control and deference to developers’ inducements leads to.”
Norman Walker
Moncarapacho, Olhão