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Monte Clérigo action group vows to take battle against bulldozers to parliament

With a new citizens group fighting against what it claims to be “unfair and unjustified” demolitions along the coast of the Algarve, the tenure of the region’s president of environment agency APA looks to be hanging by the proverbial thread.

“Demolition man” Sebastião Teixeira has already resigned his position at Sociedade Polis Litoral over the government’s thwarting of his long-fought plan to bulldoze the island homes of Ria Formosa fishermen.

But now he faces an uprising at the opposite end of the coast in Monte Clérigo, in the Costa Vicentina borough of Aljezur.

The Resident has already reported on Algarve mayors’ outrage over APA’s ‘coastal plan’ (click here).

Two months ago, the association of the region’s 16 borough councils was demanding an “urgent meeting” with environment minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes – the same man whose decisions over Ria Formosa’s demolitions led to Teixeira’s furious resignation.

But now locals in the area have united and say they plan to take the issue all the way to parliament, if necessary.

Backed by householders in nearby Vale de Telha, the Monte Clérigo Beach Action Group explains that “designated buffer zones” outlined by APA leave properties in places like Praia da Rocha, Armação de Pêra and Albufeira intact “while they propose the demolition of nearly half of Monte Clérigo”.

“There are thousands of houses in the same situation, close to cliffs or dunes, entire hotels hanging by some meters throughout western Algarve, and yet almost two-thirds of the demolitions proposed (by APA) are in Monte Clérigo. WHY?”

The group’s questions show no signs of going away as APA is being forced to reconsider public opinion.

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