Tree removal this week on Calle Notario Luis Oliver. :: JOSELE-LANZA
There can be no step back now; the first 100-year-old trees located in the centre of Marbella have been removed. The felling started on Monday morning as workers carried out the first part of the street remodelling project.
They were also joined by various police patrols who monitored the progress and were present to prevent the expected “possible altercations” with protesters. The civil platform ‘Marbella for its trees’ had announced on social media websites that it would try to stop the felling.
Miguel Ángel Valencia from the platform said that it is hoped that the progress is stalled. He referred to a report by a member of the Spanish Ornithology Society (SEO) which “reveals the irreparable damage being caused by the felling of the trees in spring during the height of the nesting season for protected bird species”.
Carola Herrero, who was acting spokesperson of the group on Monday, showed her disapproval of the felling process, calling the day “black Monday of the Feria” (to coincide with the beginning of the town’s fair). Herrero accused the town hall of acting against the citizens of Marbella.
The platform counted on the support of United Left (Izquierda Unida, IU) politicians Enrique Monterroso and Miguel Díaz. Monterroso said: “The Malaga public prosecutor still has the case open, although we fear that if a decision is made to stop the removal it will already be too late.”
Meanwhile some residents in the street pointed out that while they would miss the trees, they had been problematic.
“The leaves were diseased and became infested with insects in the summer,” said one resident, adding that the roots must have broken a sewer as when it rained the water that came up through the drains was mixed with waste water.
The street remodelling scheme will be carried out in phases and is estimated to be completed in six months.