ADEJE – At first it was archaeological remains, now it is a protected plant species that is the reason for the temporary suspension of construction work on the macro-tourist complex Cuna del Alma in Adeje on Tenerife.
The protected plant species ‘viborina triste’ (sad snake) has been found in the complex. This is according to the environmental association ‘Salvar la Tejita’, which has been fighting against the arrival of the major tourist project for some time. The Ministry of Ecological Transition has now confirmed the presence of the protected plant species and ordered construction to halt. To continue would mean the imminent threat of environmental damage to protected wild flora.
Protected species in the complex
Salvar la Tejita, in her original complaint, spoke of 10 protected species of flora and several species of fauna that would be affected by the works. The sad snake (Echium triste), is included in the Canary Islands’ catalogue of protected species. They must be preserved because of their scientific, ecological, and cultural value or their rarity. Moreover, it is not possible to move this plant without endangering its survival.
“We will continue to fight until a final stop”
“We are happy that this first step has been taken. But emphasise that this stoppage is precautionary. We will therefore continue to fight until it becomes final. And, furthermore, that they are responsible for all irregularities this project entails. If the law is complied with, the works will be permanently stopped,” said the local environmental movement. This movement has staged protests since the construction of the tourist mega-complex began to prevent its development by constantly pointing out archaeology and environmental violations.
Following this suspension order, the promoter Segunda Casa Adeje S.L. has a period of 15 days to file a defence.
Cuna del Alma will appeal
It has already been communicated from Cuna del Alma that “the company will make the opportune counter-accusations and will study the possible legal steps it can take in defence of the rights acquired by the promoter by having all the necessary planning and environmental permits”.
The organisation points out that the protected plant has not been discovered before and that they have applied to the Canary Islands government for the corresponding permit.
Other obstacles for Belgian families behind the promoter
However, this is not the only problem faced by the Belgian Vandermarliere and Van Biervliet families responsible for the project. Some obstacles are: their construction company has already been fined €600,000 for destroying the archaeological site ‘Guanche’, the presence of a commercial building on the beach that prevents the construction of a semi-private beach or the petition with more than 37,000 signatures collected on the platform Wemove.eu to definitively stop the construction of the project.
El Puertito de Adeje, a valuable ecosystem
The area chosen for the construction of Cuna del Alma is within the Teno-Rasca Marine Strip Special Conservation Zone (ZEC). In addition, it borders the La Caleta Site of Scientific Interest. More than 30 bird species nest here and protected flora is present.
Construction of 420 villas
To realise Cuna del Alma with its 420 villas, an investment of €350 million is planned. These are mostly luxury villas. On paper, the first phase should be completed in 2025 with the completion of the first 108 homes, a 20,000 m² farm, restaurants, a spa and a kids’ club. The total area of the complex will be over 400,000 m².