Officers from the Guardia Civil's Seprona environmental protection unit have confirmed what campaign groups have been reporting: illegal quarrying is still going on in the hills behind Alhaurín de la Torre.
Inspectors from Seprona visited the Pinos de Alhaurín quarry a month ago following the receipt of a video recording of stone apparently being illicitly extracted, filmed by a group called La Plataforma en Defensa de la Salud y la Sierra (PDSS), which campaigns to protect the natural environment around Alhaurín de la Torre. The video was taken on 2 February and shows a crane loading rock onto a waiting lorry.
The Guardia Civil report has been sent to Alhaurín de la Torre town hall and the Junta de Andalucía regional government for action to be taken.
Pinos de Alhaurín is one of four quarry sites that were declared illegal in 2005, with a court saying that rock had been taken from the hillside of the Sierra de Mijas for thirty years for construction projects along the Costa del Sol without any sort of permission.
The local town hall agreed a wind-down plan with the sites, with a gradual decrease in activity. This ended in 2014 and since then three of the four sites have been inactive.
However, as the PDSS has shown with it video, there are still signs of activity at Pinos de Alhaurín and it has complained about the “passivity” of the local authorities, especially the town hall. “They should check that the law isn't being broken, check that the licences exist; it's the same as if somebody opens a bar in the town centre without the paperwork,” it explained.
Councillor for the Environment, Marina Bravo, said, in reply to the PDSS complaints, that she was carrying out the necessary investigations and added that there have been several police inspections of the site but that nobody had been “caught in the act”.
The Junta de Andalucía has confirmed receipt of the Seprona report and said that it is studying it and will take legal action if necessary.
The PDSS continues its criticism of the local town hall, saying that “for years they have been obstructing the return to legality of the quarries of Alhaurín de la Torre”, adding that it hoped this time councillors would take more definitive actions.