The company owns 75% of the land, and some 55 smallholders own the rest of the land which is to be developed. Most of it is prime beach front property. Grupo Almanzora says 50% of the homes will be individual chalets and the rest viviendas adosadas.
The company says that the construction phase will last the next five years, and will be a quality development of homes. Now that Spain is coming out of the recession, they reckon a market will shortly be there for them. I shall refrain from commenting.
Construction will also shortly start on a four star hotel which will be leased out to a hotel operator. The company says it is already in talks with several interested parties who want to run it, and the money from the lease of the hotel will be ploughed back into the development.
It’s a big investment – the initial development of the sea front and streets along will cost over 10 million euros.
Residents are annoyed, especially at plans to raze the pine forest along the beach, although the company bleats that the pine forest will be preserved in a green zone.
Meanwhile, Dreambeach festival organisers say they have been served notice that next year is the last year that they will be able to use the land as a temporary campsite, which may force the festival elsewhere in 2017.
This project started 20 years ago under the nickname “little Venice”, or an official name of Ciudad Lacustre, when it was still controlled by UK builders Almanzora Bay group. The idea had been to create a new inland port with lots of homes around a new marina, at a cost of 300 million euros. Canals almost 4km long would allow yacht owners to tie up outside their front door. But the project has been finally shelved as Costas, the government department in charge of coasts, has repeatedly refused permission to muck around with the rivers and coastline in this fashion. Also, cost. Cost, coast. Fraser Prynne from the company said he was disappointed by the lack of political will and vision shown by local politicians over the last two decades.
So instead of “little Venice” we just get a continuation of Vera Playa. Lovely. I just hope the wind is blowing out to sea the day the bulldozers disturb the plutonium.