A building project in one of the most iconic protected natural parks in Southern Spain, Cabo de Gata, has recently been approved and considered environmentally feasible by the Andalusian Board. The 30- room 4* hotel known as Cortijo de Las Chiqueras, promoted by the company Torres y Gonzalez Diaz SL, was initially rejected in 2017 because they were planning to erect 2 buildings with 2 spacious parking zones. However, the Territorial Delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development in Almeria sees the new modifications to be in line with environmental standards.
According to the Board, the proposed adjustments of 2019 eliminate the transfer of a 500 m2 barnyard to another location, as well as the 2 parking lots next to an access road, leaving a single 2,762 m2 area of stationary service for hotel activity with a capacity of 70 vehicles that coincides with land devoid of vegetation, where the “infrastructure would neither affect the hábitat nor the species for which the protected area was declared.”
The company justifies the project to be of “social interest of sustainable tourist activity and the heritage recovery of the cultural intangibility that Cortijo de las Chiqueras represents.” However, several environmentalist activism groups such as ‘Amigos del Parque’, ‘Grupo Ecologistas Mediterraneo’, ‘Equo’, and ‘IULV-CA’ have pronounced their dislike for the project, saying that it is incompatible with the aims envisaged by the Management Plan of Natural Resources for the C1 areas in Cabo de Gata-Níjar, as it has a “purely economic purpose for the hospitality business”.