web summit (1).jpg

Residents protest against new hotel

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

Residents in the Porto de Mós area of Praia da Luz are opposing plans for a five-star hotel to be built in the area, a project they believe led to the closure of a popular beach restaurant.

A petition by the Miradouro da Luz residents association against the closure and potential demolition of O António restaurant has been circulating since late last month.

According to the association, the potential demolition of the restaurant in question will be to make way for a new hotel to be built by developers Omniasol, who claim right of ownership of the land where the restaurant is located.

According to a statement from Lagos Mayor Júlio Barroso, also available on the Câmara’s website, Omniasol took the matter to court in 2003 claiming a licence Lagos Câmara had granted the restaurant for extension works was not legal as they would be occupying part of the developers’ property.

Now, and after a long judicial battle, the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Omniasol and ordered the restaurant owner to vacate the land belonging to the developers.

According to the same statement, Mayor Júlio Barroso says there are no doubts that the land is owned by Omniasol.

In July, Lagos Câmara ordered the closure of O António restaurant, but an appeal against this decision has now been made by its owner.

In response to the Mayor’s statement, a member of Miradouro da Luz association said: “Lagos Câmara shows an irresponsible attitude towards Lagos citizens in general and in particular to the families of the 17 restaurant employees, who have lost their jobs.

“Lagos Câmara should have protected the interests of the citizens. What seems to be at stake are the interests of the câmara in the hotel project.

“We want to take our petition to Parliament.

Mayor Júlio Barroso said that he regretted that the parties involved had failed to reach an agreement, but public interests such as job creation through the construction of a new hotel unit, for which a building permit has already been issued, have had to be considered.

“The construction of a five-star hotel unit should not interfere with the restaurant’s current location and both units can coexist,” he said.

Members of the association will be circulating the petition, which has almost 2,000 signatures, against the closure of O António restaurant today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) at the restaurant location and at Praça Gil Eanes in Lagos.

O António restaurant is to remain closed pending a court ruling.

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]