New construction boom threatens Spanish coastline | 9/10/2018 | Staff
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Sandwiched between the crystalline blue sea and green pine trees lies Aiguafreda, one of Spain's last largely unspoiled Mediterranean coves, which is threatened by a new building frenzy.

From Catalonia to the Balearic Islands numerous building projects which came to a halt during Spain's 2008 economic crisis have been restarted as growth returns, raising fears among green groups of a new "construction fever" along the country's already heavily built-up coastline.

Costa - Brava - Stretch - Coastline - Catalonia

On the Costa Brava, a nearly 100-mile (160-kilometre) stretch of rugged coastline in northeastern Catalonia, some 20 projects are in the works, according to environmental group SOS Costa Brava.

Among them is a 260-home residential development at Aiguafreda which had been stalled for 15 years due to bureaucratic hold-ups, divisions among investors and then the economic crisis, which was sparked by the collapse of a decade-long property bubble. The project was relaunched by new owners recently.

Houses - Trees - Cove - Waters - Municipality

Only a few houses nestled among pine trees currently surround the tiny cove of crystal clear waters, in the municipality of Begur.

"There are very few places left like this, that are so green and with so few houses. The idea of losing it terrifies us," Estel Rumbau of lobby group Save Aiguafreda told AFP.

Municipality - Project - Land - Municipality

The municipality says it is impossible to stop the project since the land where it will be built has already been zoned as residential. Expropriating it would cost 50-70 million euros ($60-81 million)—money the municipality does not have.

"I would like to build zero homes, but our hands are tied. We will try to ensure that they are as little as possible," Begur mayor Joan Manel Loureiro told AFP, vowing that no more than 100 homes will be built.


'No more capacity'

It is not the only project in Begur. On the other side of a hill overlooking the Aiguafreda cove six excavators are preparing land to build...
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