GROUPS opposed to a mammoth development planned for Callosa received an early Christmas present.
The Valencian Community’s Upper court rejected plans for 1,700 homes, two golf courses, an hotel and shops on 1.7 million square metres of Sierra Bernia. The regional tribunal’s judges ruled unanimously that the land was irregularly reclassified.
The rural land was rezoned and the €24 million luxury development approved by the local council in 2006. Callosa town hall took over in December 2011 when the promoters, who owned 96 per cent of the land, had to pull out.
The development was opposed by environmentalist groups and directly-affected Callosa residents and small landowners who lodged 122 appeals against it. The Cipal party in Altea and the Bloc in Benissa also voiced opposition, as both municipalities have common boundaries with Callosa.
There was insufficient water to support the project, claimed the scheme’s opponents, who maintained from the outset that the consequences for Sierra Bernia were inadequately evaluated despite potential harm to wildlife and archaeological sites.