Paradise (nearly) Lost

LANDSCAPE: The community is united in its bid to save the Selva valley, next to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from development.

EXPATRIATES and the Spanish community are taking a united stance to protect their “beautiful landscape” under threat from industrial development.

There are proposals to build a 35,000 m2 solar power plant in the Selva valley at the foot of Sierra de Tramuntana.

The area,in the Raiguer district, is close to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the community is both angry and upset that the rural area popular with residents and tourists has been earmarked for commercial use.

Speaking exclusively to Euro Weekly News, spokesperson for the group of protestors, Evita Wagner, said: “This is so wrong. It is like a rape of the local heritage.”

As such, the objectors launched a petition opposing the plans, which received 1,200 signatures in less than three weeks, and they claim to have the support of the Ayuntamento de Selva.

Evita explained the agricultural landscape is well known for its beauty, particularly in the almond-flower season, and is a well-established and popular cycling and hiking area “used by innumerable inhabitants of Mallorca as well as visitors”.

She added: “The project, if built, will have a huge visual impact on the landscape. It will turn a traditional Mallorcan farm into an industrial site. The surrounding neighbours will see their property lose value when being fenced in by three-high panels.

“The Solar Power Station would cover 35,000 m2 of farmland and be highly visible from most roads and towns on the hills -ironically also from a newly inaugurated and promoted nature hiking trail to Lluc.”

Evita, who is originally from Finland and has lived in the area for eight years, added: “We hope the Conselleria de Territori, Energia I Mobilitat de Mallorca (Ministry of Territory, Energy and Mobility of Mallorca) do not authorise this project. We are all for alternative energy but there are other industrialised areas that would be more suitable.”

The closing date to oppose the project was Monday, and all objections will now be considered by the government.

“No matter what, we will continue to fight this,” said Evita.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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