Praia Grande Nature Park

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your very full and admirable two page report on the so-called “public session” of Silves Câmara on February 4 about the proposed Praia Grande development. You have given us a real sense of the feel and flavour of the meeting. It seems to have been a very one-sided and undemocratic event, with the public being talked at but not listened to.

I note, however, that Rui Meneses Ferreira, the Chairman of Finalgarve, the developers, has invited people wanting to know more to email him directly at rferreira@galilei.pt. I propose to accept the invitation and to enquire about the Environmental Impact Assessment, which has apparently suddenly appeared out of the blue, and about how much money is really available to carry out his hugely ambitious venture.

As a private individual I shall probably be ignored or given the brush-off, but it is worth a try.

Like all the people in the Algarve (of various nationalities) to whom I have spoken, I regard the Finalgarve project as unneeded, unwanted and under-funded – and most importantly of all an environmental disaster. It is primarily a disaster for the rare wildlife of the area but it is also the loss to the people of the Algarve of one of the few remaining natural and unspoiled beaches in the region. The damage will be irreparable and permanent – and will start the moment work begins on the site.

The “Nature Park” which has now been proposed is just a sticking plaster which will not cover the huge wound to the environment that the development will make. It is astonishing that the “happy mayor” Rogério Pinto and his câmara colleagues have swallowed that one. Or perhaps it is not so astonishing since the handling of the whole approval procedure appears to be like the activities of Macário (Mr 10%) Correia when he was mayor of Tavira for which he has been ruled unfit for office.

The proposal must be fought all the way. I wish power to the elbow of The Friends of Lagoa dos Salgados. Let us see that Finalgarve does not“finish the Algarve”.

Norman Walker