IKEA project faces green opposition

By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]

Portuguese environmental association Quercus has announced that it is against a proposed project to build the Algarve’s first IKEA shop on land that is designated as a National Agricultural Reserve (RAN).

In a statement posted on their website, the environmental group said: “Quercus found out recently that IKEA Portugal plans to build a new shop in the Algarve, with the real estate company IMO 224 – Investimentos Imobiliários SA having promoted the purchase of around 40 hectares of land on a National Agricultural Reserve, in Alfarrobeira, near the Via do Infante.”

Quercus demands that the regional development commission (CCDR) defend the status of the land.

“Despite IKEA Portugal having already handed in a request for the viability of the project to the CCDR for the designated site, Quercus hopes that the relevant public entities do not allow the use of the RAN land or promote the alteration of Loulé’s land planning project (PDM) to favour a private interest without alternative locations having been studied,” said Quercus.

The association added that they consider IKEA’s investment in the region as important, however, the location should avoid land that is RAN or planned for other things.

3,000 jobs

In a written statement sent to the Algarve Resident, a spokesman for IKEA said that the project is still in a very early stage, which makes it too soon to comment on the statement released by Quercus.

The IKEA group has confirmed, however, that they intend to build a shop in the Loulé council, which is expected to cost around 200 million euros and create 3,000 direct jobs in the region. 

The spokesman added that the IKEA group “will continue, as always, to work with the competent authorities and entities, with the progression of its intentions depending on their feedback”.

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