After years of complaints by environmentalists, the Public Ministry is reported to be analysing a decision taken in 2011 – three months before the fall of José Sócrates’ government – that conceded an exception to the Costa Vicentina land plan and paved the way for a tourist development in the heart of the protected area at Vila Nova de Milfontes. Vila Formosa would involve a five-star hotel, tourist villages and shops.
According to media reports, the plan is totally out of sync with nature conservation ideals for the Costa Vicentina, but it managed to ‘get through’ due to an ‘exception’ passed by Sócrates’ Council of Ministers that agreed to allow tourist projects “until the end of 2012” without any of them needing to comply with the territorial plan, known as POPNSACV (the Plano de Ordenamento do Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina).
The Attorney General’s office has confirmed that it is studying the matter, with a view to instituting legal proceedings.
Meantime, the group behind Vila Formosa is understood to have already invested around €100 million in the project which was submitted into Odemira council in 2011.
If granted, the plan would see an area of 30 hectares developed with a 200-bed hotel, three ‘villages’ comprising 252 T1 and T2 units, with a grand total of 1,352 beds.