Silves’ decision to partially suspend its municipal plan (PDM) in order to allow Zoomarine to expand into the municipality has been made official after being published in the State’s newspaper Diário da República on January 26.
In other words, the theme park now has the green light to move forward with its plan to “double in size”.
In a statement to the press, Silves council says that these “temporary regulations will last for a year and can be extended for another year, if necessary”.
As the Resident reported last year (click here), the expansion will take the current 14.8-hectare site to 28.7 hectares and involves expanding into Sítio do Ribeiro, spanning the parishes of Alcantarilha and Pêra.
The highlight will be the construction of a new attraction entitled Lazy River.
There will also be a new ‘wave pool, surrounded by sand’, an increase in car-parking spaces by almost 1,000 and the creation of a photovoltaic park to supply the complex’s energy.
The project also implies the alteration of the main entrance and the dolphin stadium as well as the creation of a cable car system.
Zoomarine is one of the Algarve’s most popular attractions. It was launched in 1991 by Argentinean businessman, Pedro Lavia, and is famous for its dolphin shows, water attractions and marine species conservation work.
In fact, the theme park enjoyed a record-breaking summer last year, welcoming an unprecedented 630,000 visitors.
In a communiqué to the press, the theme park said that this was achieved “despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit which threatened to lead to a decrease in the number of holidaymakers from the Algarve’s main market”.