No magic wand for Altea revamp

ALTEA SEAFRONT: Revamp ‘could take years’

ALTEA’s mayor, Miguel Ortiz, visited Madrid recently to discuss the seafront remodelling project.

Ortiz met environment ministry official, Pablo Saavedra, and assistant permanent secretary for Coastline protection, Angel Muñoz Cubillo.

As already agreed between the ministry and Altea town hall, budget amendments have been approved, and plans to amend the original project can now be commissioned, Ortiz was told.

The development will have two phases, the first dealing with regenerating the beaches.  This includes removing gravel and replacing it with the river stones typical of Altea’s beaches. The Paseo Maritimo will also be extended to include sections of the seafront still without a promenade.

Two underground car parks and a road linking them will be built during the second phase, together with the new Paseo.

Tenders for drafting the plans are already coming in, Saavedra told Ortiz, and the contract is likely to be awarded in April. The plans are expected to be ready in June and should be rubber-stamped by July.

On his return from Madrid, Ortiz outlined the results of his meetings to spokespeople of the parties on the local council.

There was criticism from PSOE spokesman, Eloy Hidalgo.

‘At the beginning of this year, Rajoy’s government cancelled everything that Zapatero approved in November 2011, including a €13.6 million budget for transforming the seafront ,’ he told the local Spanish press.

‘In December 2011, it only needed the contract to be signed for work to start,’ Hidalgo claimed.

By then, the contractor had contacted local firms for estimates and many jobs would have been created.  Instead there was a change of government and Altea missed out on an investment of more than €13 million, he said.

All that has been achieved is an allocation covering the cost of the re-drafted plans, maintained Hidalgo.  The revamp will take ‘years,’ he predicted. 

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