TABERNO residents are up in arms about a large-scale pig farm project in the locality.
Crowds of locals, many of them expats, have been turning out every evening for weeks to protest in front of the Town Hall against the plans for a farm for some 6,000 pigs in the Cerro Roldan area.
Real proof of the strength of local feeling is the number of residents who have signed a petition organised by the ‘Taberno No Se Vende’ platform created to coordinate efforts to fight the project: to date some 700 out of a population of approximately 1,000.
As it stands the Town has put a stop to the construction works, for now at least.
In comments to Spanish media, Taberno Mayor Antonio Martes said that while the project had the necessary Junta de Andalucia environmental licence, the regional government had informed the council about issues which indicated that the company behind the farm was not abiding by all the permit stipulations.
One of the leaders of Taberno No Se Vende, Alejandro Garcia, told the Euro Weekly News there were two reasons why the council could “legally paralyse” the construction, issues on which the platform is working with ecological associations and lawyers as a basis for getting it stopped.
First there is the question of water.
According to Alejandro, in its application for the licence the pig farm company said it would be able to access water near the site, but this is not the case. Instead, Alejandro alleges, it established an unauthorised connection to a water pipe, which was not only not in the original project, it led to the company being reported to the Guardia Civil and to the paralysis of the works.
The second issue, Alejandro said, is the construction has involved moving a lot more earth than was approved.
Explaining why locals are just so vehemently opposed to the farm, many Brits, Dutch, Belgian and Germans who have chosen to make Taberno their home among them, Alejandro stressed that it is a small, quiet, clean locality without any contaminating industry. He insisted it “makes no sense” to allow this kind of business to start operating there.
Alejandro claims that if the farm does go ahead it would be a disaster for Taberno, negatively impacting on public health and the environment.
He pointed to what he said was the risk of pig slurry seeping into the ground and ending up in aquifers, or underground water sources.
The protestors are due to meet with the Mayor on Monday to find out what the situation is on the pig farm and whether the halt to the construction is likely to continue.
Alejandro made it clear he has low expectations the meeting will bring positive news, and the following day the platform is staging an authorised, organised demonstration.
“It’s going to be a tough battle”, Alejandro said.