Cala Mosca under threat

Coast's last undeveloped stretch threatened

The launching of a new public consultation procedure by the Orihuela Town Hall on the project to build 1,500 new houses on Cala Mosca, the last strip of unspoilt natural land on the 16 kilometre Orihuela coast with views of the sea, presents a new and serious threat to this emblematic area.

The consultation procedure on the revised project was announced just before Christmas and allows only until the end of January for comments and objections. There is an abundance of detailed material on the Town Hall website but it is badly presented, several of the items are empty of content or difficult to open. All this suggests that the aim is to rush through a procedure which will enable the developer to request the Valencia government for the final go ahead.

At first sight the revised project is not modified in any significant way. It provides additional protection for the two endangered species present on Cala Mosca but it is not reduced in scope or area and remains, as originally proposed, a project to build 1,500 new houses. If it goes forward, not only does this spoil the last green area and open space on Orihuela Costa; it will add significantly to the existing stock of some 50,000 properties and potentially another 5,000 new inhabitants to the Orihuela Costa population of 30,000 on the assumption of an average of three per house. This will significantly increase the income of Orihuela Town Hall with taxes on new built properties and rates but unfortunately local political parties believe that this additional revenue will not be used to provide the extra services and facilities which will be needed to cater for this population increase. They believe that it will be used by the Town Hall to benefit those living in the city and surrounding villages as it is these residents who provide the Orihuela political parties with votes in local elections. Those living on the coast and already experience deficient services and an environment scarred by neglected parks and green areas, and will now bear the brunt of the burden of this extra population.

Coastal political party CLARO, which has campaigned for years to save Cala Mosca, is concerned at this latest development and is joining forces with organisations that are dedicated to promoting and defending the interests of Orihuela Costa, in particular the Federation of Associations of Orihuela Costa and other active federated associations.

The Cambiemos political party in Orihuela, which has actively supported the coast on important issues previously, has taken a lead on this matter spelling out what lies behind the consultation and is joining the fight to save Cala Mosca.

The combined action group will meet soon to consider its strategy in what will be a very important and crucial moment to try and save this emblematic area from the destructive development being planned. The group is calling on members of the local Orihuela Costa community for support and commitment, knowing that they have always rallied to defend this last green, open emblematic space in the past and need to do so again once and for all.