President sympathises with Tavira residents

Members of a residents group opposed to developments in the Tavira region have met with the president of Tavira Câmara, Jorge Botelho, to discuss their concerns, especially about the current development of a quarry in Cerro de Leiria (see the Algarve Resident edition February 5).

Elizabeth Harding of the PROBAAL group met with Jorge Botelho on February 4.

“The president was very understanding about our concerns but said he was unable to stop the quarry as it is legal and has been approved to be developed,” she said.

Jorge Botelho told the Algarve Resident: “This is a problem that I have inherited from my predecessor and if I had been president at the time, I would not have approved this project.

“However, it is legal and I do understand the concerns of the residents.”

Some pieces of terracotta pottery have been found in gardens of homes next to the quarry and members of PROBAAL are now looking to see if these are of archaeological importance and would therefore lead to the halting of the quarry.

“If evidence of pottery is presented formally to the Câmara then a technician will be sent to assess the area before a representative of IPPAR (part of the Ministry for Culture) can be sent.  We consider the heritage of the area to be very important,” said Jorge Botelho.

Environmental group Almargem has also declared that it is against the development of the quarry, stating that it is a threat to the environment.

Almargem believes the quarry should not be developed in the area due to it being  a National Ecological Reserve (REN) and also because of the possibility of the quarry affecting an underground aquifer.

Meanwhile, the group continues to oppose the construction of three wind turbines in the Água de Tábuas area.

Currently the CCDR, the regional development commission, has declared a period of public consultation which will close on March 3. 

To view the documentation relating to the consultation, please visit http://www.ccdr-alg.pt/ccdr/index.php?name=News&file=articlesid=462  (only available in Portuguese).

D.S. and I.L