Spain Scraps Luxury Resort Plan at Dried-Out Doñana

by Lorraine Williamson

PROVINCE OF CÁDIZ – The ambitious plan of the Andalucian government to construct 300 luxury homes, four- and five-star hotels, and a golf course along the banks of the Guadalquivir River, opposite the parched Doñana, has been definitively abandoned. 

The Hydrographic Confederation of the Guadalquivir (CHG) has reportedly halted the mega-tourism complex, which was previously promoted by the Trebujena City Council, formed at the time by Izquierda Unida and supported by the socialist government of the Junta de Andalucía led by President José Antonio Griñán. 

CHG Report and Swift Decision-Making 

Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera (PSOE), criticised the regional government for granting a conditional Strategic Environmental Statement based on CHG’s advice. Following this, the CHG took just two days to prepare a report on the amendment to the Spatial Planning Plan for the North West Coast of Cádiz. 

This report should have been prepared and submitted years ago by the organisation responsible for regulating the Guadalquivir River Basin under the Ministry of Ecological Transition. However, despite the regional government’s unsuccessful requests since 2020, it was not delivered. 

Lack of Available Water Sources 

The report, as revealed by El Mundo, confirms the informal statement made by the CHG earlier this week in response to the controversy and Minister Ribera’s criticism of the Junta’s “absurd” decision. It concludes that there are no available water resources to support such a large-scale development in that location. 

It is noteworthy that the report does not mention the Doñana National Park, which the minister referenced in her criticism. Furthermore, the report also highlights the flood sensitivity of the proposed construction sites. 

Cogesa Expats

Negative CHG Advice Marks the End of the Project 

Consequently, the CHG issued a negative opinion on the initiative, effectively terminating the project that was conceived in 2003. 

At the time, the Trebujena City Council, consistently led by IU, entered into an agreement with a Belgian businessman to redevelop the land of a former drained swamp. The local government supported the project for decades, citing the planning regulations of the Junta. 

Role of the Former Socialist Junta 

El Mundo emphasised that the former socialist Junta de Andalucía modified urban plans to accommodate this large-scale project, ensuring its compliance with the legal framework. 

Water Sources and Flood Sensitivity 

According to the CHG’s advice, the luxury development would have required a significant 162,000 cubic metres of potable water and 250,000 cubic metres of irrigation water, which are currently unavailable. Additionally, the report indicated the flood sensitivity of the intended construction sites, as influenced by the Guadalquivir’s floodplain, as stated by Confederation technicians. 

A Missed Opportunity for the Junta de Andalucía 

According to the report’s authors, information regarding the flood sensitivity of the land had been readily available on the website of the Ministry of Ecological Transition. However, the Junta seemingly overlooked this crucial aspect. 

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