After a pleasent evening, during which we were chatting about the future of the area, I got out the old POTALA plans and had a bit of a think.
After all, what does the future have to hold for this area? Irrespective of what we Brits think or do (we are, after all, in a minority amongst immigrants to the province – there are 40% more Romanians, 60% more Moroccans than Brits here) our benevolent Junta has a plan for this area, and that is what is going to happen. Even if the PSOE is kicked out (I’m not making THAT prediction!), the money is slowly being freed up to make this happen, and the laws have already been changed to stop anything else happening.
So I’m going to make a few predictions. Let’s see what happens. I’m going to treat the four regions of Almería (Levante, Almanzora, Poniente, Campo de Tabernas) as unified regions for this purpose. Hey, nobody’s paying me to be accurate. Imagine that you’re a planner, and you see all these lovely blocks on a map, and how they interconnect. Nice and clean, isn’t it?
With the new infrastructure, and the new regional zoning plan (POTALA), I can see the current Mojácar / Turre axis gradually withering away as a destination, to be replaced with Vera Playa / Garrucha (now with drinking water, straight from the tap!). All the new development plans for the area are concentrated on that region – the AVE station, the proposed Alcampo shopping mall, two other shopping centres, strong road connection to Vera as the local market town, Garrucha as the marina, Villaricos as the other marina, and the beaches, hotels and general tourism resorts there. And remember, several high ranking ministers (including ZP himself!) have holiday homes on Vera playa. (Hence the AVE station there).
Mojácar village itself is currently destined to be turned into a quaint day trip out for local holidaymakers, probably with even more souvenir shops and overpriced restaurants than we have now. There are only three night bars left, with one apparently going (thank you Rosmari!) before summer. No new licenses are being issued.
Remember – Mojácar development is currently limited. We have Macenas along one end, which may help in pulling tourists to that end of the strip, but the center bit appears destined to all inclusive holiday packages in ever older hotels (no new ones being planned for years, they’re all down in Vera or Llano Central). And with the exception of a rather peculiar football field, there are no developments planned, or even pencilled in.
Inland, we see Vera becoming the local market town, probably pulling quite a bit of power away from Huercal. Antas inland becomes ever more agricultural (greenhouses?) with the connection between Antas and Vera becoming a somewhat more “third industry” zone. Huercal / Pulpí probably becomes more agricultural.
The bits between Los Gallardos, Garrucha and Vera slowly gets filled in with developments and resorts.
Bédar turns towards rural tourism. New rural hotels? Cabrera is finally turned into a natural park and not much happens. Villages above Bédar slowly wither away even faster than they are now.
Carboneras turns into a much more industrial zone. The new port, the power station, the desalination plant and now high tech industry (wind farm assembly, etc) are installed there. Probably a motorway up to the A7 down to the port and it turns into the central import / export hub for the east of the province.
The new motorway links the A7 to Baza via the valley. So the top end of the valley (Cantoria onwards) becomes much more industrial, marble development and the like. Quarries abound, probably taken out via Carboneras. Not much else as it’s too far away from anywhere to develop an industry that isn’t artisan (ie, marble production – they ship raw marble into the area, craft it and ship out the finished product).
The lower end becomes the main population zone, with a huge new commercial centre around Arboleas and then mini towns all slowly linking up into a central urban zone, just above Huercal and Vera.
Illegal homes? Most of them get legalised after paying a lot for infrastructure and “taxes”. Couple of dozen get knocked down.
Campos de Tabernas
The region “above”, in the hills above Tabernas is, I’m afraid, destined to wither. Nothing there, bad communications. Possibly the option of developing rural tourism but nothing too mass scale.
The economic powerhouse of the province. Almería – El Ejido as the centre, with Roquetas / Aguadulce as its’ playground. Greenhouses keep developing, as do secondary industry there. Probably more industrial units will setup around Huercal.
Almería turns into more of a city. Almerimar turns into the playground of El Ejido, with a large new development behind it, and develops up to El Ejido.
The valley up to Granada turns into a rural tourism resort with lots of guesthouses and the like.
Níjar, apart from greenhouses and Cabo de Gata, turns into an interesting central axis for the whole province. Splot in the middle, it has good road, (soon) rail, port and airport access. A large new “dry port” is planned for Níjar, where people swing in content on a mass scale and then pushed out to different local points over small transport links.
Ahhh…. the crystal ball is getting misty from my breath. I shall take it away to clean it and may try again later. Or call on my new 906 number (4,5€ plus IVA a minute!)