Vila do Bispo loses out

A concerted campaign by angry environmentalists is throwing into doubt several proposed tourist constructions in the Vila do Bispo area. The total cost of the planned developments is said to be several hundred million euros, but Câmara President, Gilberto Viegas, believes that some major projects are at risk, including a number of new five star hotels.

According to Viegas, there is no reason for the environmentalists to block the projects, which are already included in the Municipal Director’s Plan (PDM). The developments in question are due to be built north of Raposeira and Vila do Bispo. In spite of these zones falling outside the Nature Park, environmental campaigners have sent a 20,000-signature petition to the government. In the petition they have denounced the existence of real estate projects near the Nature Park that they allege will “prejudice its harmonious development”. Viegas denies that the developments will damage the park and claims that the authorities are planning “high quality projects involving low-density construction and careful environmental and landscape framing”. He claims that the câmara is being discriminated against, saying that, in his view, “the defence of the environment is not necessarily incompatible with development.”