The project for Nerja to have its first golf course, with a luxury hotel in an old restored sugar factory and 680 homes, is embroiled in great controversy, with arguments for and against an initiative that, if carried away out, it would substantially modify the landscape of 250 hectares of agricultural land, next to the natural setting of the Cliffs of Maro, although outside this protected area.
The initiative promoted by Sociedad Azucarera Larios SL, on land owned by it for almost a century, is based on an urban agreement that the minority PP government team has prepared, led by José Alberto Armijo, who has already drafted and announced in April 2015, just two months before there was a change in the Mayor's Office, with the arrival of a tripartite, PSOE, IU and EVA-Podemos.
After recovering the baton in June 2019, the popular have returned to the fray with this project, convinced that it would be "an added value" for the easternmost coastal town of the province, "generating employment and wealth in the tourism sector ». The Councilor for Urbanism, Nieves Atencia (PP), declared last April that the environment "is a place marked by ugly greenhouses, destitute and hippies living in caves."
Indeed, the area has been somewhat degraded in recent decades by different factors, although it still retains a good number of cultivated plots, with subtropical ones, greenhouses, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Precisely, the Maro cooperative, Coamar, is one of the groups that has submitted allegations to the agreement during the period of public exposure, which closed last Friday. In the letter, to which this newspaper has had access, it is indicated that the entity groups 150 families, with a turnover of 955,000 euros in 2019.
«Reiterate 'Yes to the hoe, no to the concrete' and 'Without the land there is no future' as expressions that the Maro farmers already defended in December 1996 when we locked ourselves in the Cueva de Nerja for ten days with a great media following» , express in allusion to the claims made by the so-called 'Larios colonists' almost a quarter of a century ago in demand for land ownership.
The PP defends that the initiative of Larios will give "an approach of tourist excellence" to the coastal town of Axarquía
In front of that protest, behind the banner, was the mayor of Nerja, who had been in office for just a year and a half at the time. "I am very proud of what I did," he said a few days ago on local television Telenerja. "Now we have to look to the future, and see if we want to maintain the current situation or give Nerja a focus on tourism excellence," said Armijo, who said that they are not going to make "hasty decisions". "There are a series of debts with this company, of 70,000 square meters of land, and a commitment to liquidate the amount or give it urban development," he added.
Investment of 311 million
Larios has put the investment necessary to execute his project at 311 million euros and a term of ten years for its execution is planned once he has the approval of the administrations. The agreement involves requalifying agricultural soils, part of special protection, in addition to partially affecting the BIC of the Cueva de Nerja and the picturesque site of Maro, so it must have the approval of the Junta de Andalucía.
The sports facility would be irrigated with the regenerated water in the treatment plant that is being completed in this same environment, the first floor of the municipality of Axarquía, which continues to discharge the wastewater into the untreated sea. For opposition groups such as PSOE and Adelante, "the Armijo-Larios project is a true environmental aberration." "It would end an agricultural tradition of more than 400 years and would make Maro a ghetto, it would not create employment," says Adelante spokesman José Juan Aído.
In contrast, in a promotional video, Larios put 1,600 jobs to be created, 600 permanent. The Platform Another Maro and Another Nerja is Possible presented last week at the City Hall 9,001 signatures against the initiative. "We want the councilors to reconsider, we must separate the debts of the agreement, to continue we will face each other in the courts of justice," they predicted.
The data The project. Larios intends since 2015 to requalify 250 hectares of rustic land, a part of special protection, in the Maro plain, to build an 18-hole golf course, a luxury hotel in an old factory and up to 680 homes Allegations. The agreement has received allegations against at least half a dozen entities, from a citizen platform, PSOE, Adelante, Ecologistas en Acción and the agricultural cooperative Coamar. Formalities. Within two months, the agreement will be v