New development plan under discussion

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

Three câmaras have raised objections to a new development plan by the Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Institute (ICNB) for the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina.

Mayors José Amarelinho (Aljezur), Adelino Soares (Vila do Bispo) and José Guerreiro (Odemira) said that the document outlining the proposals has matters with which they disagree.

One of the items of contention is how traditional activities, including farming, agriculture and fisheries, are treated, which they say will contribute to their demise.

According to regional weekly newspaper Barlavento, they describe the plan as arrogant, imposing new rules on building in the Natural Park area and ignoring the rights of the existing property owners.

They also say they do not understand the need to establish a line of protection two kilometres from the coast when there are already physical barriers such as roads.

This is seen as a “discriminatory measure and baseless, that will pose an obstacle on the development of tourism, necessary for the local economy”.

The three mayors, whose areas are covered by the park, believe that the plan calls into question the principles of “cohesion and equal treatment” in relation to other regions and municipalities in the country.

While not dismissing the possibility of corrections and significant changes after discussion with the ICNB, the mayors have expressed “concern, discomfort and inconvenience”, from the standpoint of political interest, for the entire process.

The president of the ICNB told the Algarve Resident: “The plan has not been approved and is under discussion. All criticisms are welcome in order for the plan to meet the needs and interests related to the promotion of a sustainable and balanced growth of the area.”

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