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Luz residents oppose plans to build hotel

By INÊS LOPES [email protected]

An association of residents in Vila da Luz is opposing the possible construction of a hotel unit in an area of “natural beauty that should be preserved”.

According to Associação Miradouro da Luz, which takes the name of the area it is protecting, the intended plan to build a three-storey hotel in the local viewpoint area goes against the original development plan for Luz, which aimed to define and limit construction on the local lands and which classified the Miradouro as a green area.

A spokesman for the association told the Algarve Resident: “Lagos City Hall has always expressed their intention to qualify the viewpoint of Praia da Luz, which is on a hill in front of St James Development, as an area for green spaces, but admitting the possibility of construction of buildings with up to two floors on the land situated on the right hand side (north-south direction) of this viewpoint.”

However, the group believes the Câmara is yielding to pressure to alter the status of that area to allow for the construction of a hotel to be located on land above the Miradouro.

“It is obvious that the existence of a building with three floors or even less on top of the sightseeing point is absolutely unacceptable for various reasons, essentially of aesthetic nature and of urban disposition in what concerns the height of existing buildings,” the spokesman said. The association says it understands the importance of such a facility in Praia da Luz and the advantages it would bring to the local economy.

However, it questions the reasons for building it in an area that should be for the enjoyment of the community and tourists alike.

“There are other plots of land that could be used for such tourist buildings,” said the spokesman.

Lagos Mayor Júlio Barroso told the Algarve Resident: “I’m aware that some residents are unhappy about the urban solutions being studied.

“There is an urban development plan for the whole of Vila da Luz. The area known as Miradouro is actually private property. It was the subject of an urban project years ago, which included the installation of some infrastructure, but works were suspended.”

Regarding the construction of a hotel unit, the Mayor says the development plan foresees the possible construction of luxury tourist accommodation in the Miradouro area.

He said: “There is a lack of four and five star hotel units in Luz, which should be planned for areas that are “more likely to appeal to high class tourists”.

Júlio Barroso calls on residents who oppose the plan to come forward and express their concerns.

“It is in their rights to defend what they believe to be the best for Luz and we are available to listen to their opinions.”

An online petition has now been created by Associação Miradouro da Luz, appealing to all citizens to express their discontent at the proposed plans.

The spokesman said: “We need to obtain 1,000 signatures for the matter to be taken to Parliament.”