HUNDREDS of Altea residents attended the protest against the expansion of its small port, Portet de l’Olla. “Today we have gathered to report an atrocity, a great lie in a public document that says the water of this beach is not suitable for swimming, to justify certain developments,” began the speech of one of the lead protestors.
They are concerned about the ‘irreversible damage’ the works will have to what they consider to be the unique environment of Cala del Soio and its beach.
The volcanic beach is considered to be of ecological and historical value. The current pier – built in the 1960’s – is on a volcanic outcrop that is more than 225 million years old.
Mayor Andres Ripoll also spoke out about how the town had been able to get the works suspended.
The works were provisionally suspended on Friday by the Valencian High Court to resolve the administrative appeal filed by the Town Hall against the decision of the Ports and Harbors Manager from the Infrastructure Department, who authorized the works.
“All political groups should be working towards ensuring that the cove is kept as it is and not used; it should become a protected park, the only one we have on the Altea coast,” said the mayor.
In addition to the Socialist mayor, members from other political parties attending including Popular Party Spokesman Miguel Ortiz and representatives from the Valencian Nationalist Bloc.
The work for the port had the permission and authorization from the Ministry of Environment and the Valencian Ports Authority.