JOSÉ MENDES Bota, MP for the district of Faro, has taken a stand against the planned construction of a new apart-hotel at Praia do Porto de Mós in Lagos.
Planning permission was recently approved for a nine-storey apart-hotel to be built 50 metres from the cliff, in an area of great importance to the landscape and a highly sensitive area from the point of view of coastal erosion.
At a press conference recently held at the site, Mendes Bota said: “I am here to fight against the Algarve coastline being turned into a concrete jungle. There are limits for everything. The sustainable development of the region can be made without the destruction of the landscape and the abuse of the coastline, without placing blocks of cement on top of beaches and its cliffs. For me, the plan for the coastline between Burgau and Vilamoura, which was approved some years ago, was far too lenient, making way for such aberrations like the one I denounce today as an MP and as a citizen of the Algarve.”
He was clear in his vision for the Algarve: “We need more quality hotels, we don’t need more apart-hotels. We need low density, residential resorts of quality, with green spaces and good leisure facilities, and we need to keep a prudent distance from our coastline. We must also guard against the abandonment of the interior areas,” he warned. “The approval of this project, under these conditions, brings about many doubts as to its legality.”
Mendes Bota is requesting the Inspecção-Geral da Administração do Território (IGAT), the territorial management authority, to carry out an enquiry to investigate the possible illegalities or irregularities that took place in order for this project to have been approved. The MP is also seeking a court injunction to suspend the progress of the project pending the inquiry.
Finally, the Social Democrat MP for the Faro district is also requesting that Lagos Council, the Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Algarve (CCDRA), the region’s planning development commission, and the government make the maximum possible effort to approve the Plano Director Municipal (PDM), the official planning document for Lagos, the only council in the whole country without a PDM, and that a revision can be made to the general urban plan for Lagos, which has been in use since 1986 and is now clearly out of date.