A source told Lusa news agency that the motion subscribed by the PPD / PSD and Movimento Servir Portimão was defeated, by majority, in the Extraordinary Municipal Assembly, on Monday, 3 February, with 12 votes against of the PS municipal deputies, 10 in favour: PSD (3), Servir Portimão (3), Bloco de Esquerda (3) and one of the independent deputy, and two abstentions from the CDU.
The document, to which Lusa had access, was based on a petition that brought together almost 1,000 signatures promoted by a group of citizens who intend to have the licensing of the hotel complex revoked, whose promoter is the entrepreneur Miguel Pais do Amaral.
In the motion, the PPD / PSD and Movimento Servir Portimão claim that the suspension of the subdivision, in addition to not affecting the rights of the owners, will make it possible to “rethink” the solutions for the occupation of the area covered, in order to understand whether the planned urban regime “should or should not be reviewed”.
Municipal deputies justify their position with the fact that the allotment project for the construction of 600 tourist beds received an unfavourable opinion from the Environmental Impact Statement (DIA), issued by the Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR).
The project was disapproved in May 2019, after an unfavourable opinion from the Evaluation Committee responsible for the technical analysis of the Environmental Impact Study.
The deputies recall that the lead “took into account the risks and potential damages that its approval and execution could cause to the flora and cliffs in the area”.
According to the opinion of the Evaluation Committee, “the project does not have the conditions to be viable, namely due to factors such as biodiversity and the landscape”.
The commission considered that the construction put at risk the destruction of almost three hectares of one of the most representative nuclei of ‘Linaria algarviana’, a highly pressured plant species, exclusive to the western Algarve and with a protection status under the Natura 2000 regime.
“In addition, irreversible impacts on the structure and scenic quality of the landscape are likely to compromise the identity of one of the areas that preserves the original features of the regional coastal landscape”, he said.
In November 2019, the three promoters of the project - the Top Building groups, the Spanish Astronow and Areia Feliz in partnership with Estoril Investe - presented a new environmental impact study for three five-star hotels, for the UP3 subdivision, located at the tip of João d’Arens, next to the beaches of Vau and Alemão.
The reformulated project foresees a smaller construction area, with three hotels, fewer rooms and further away from the cliffs.