The organisations and entities involved in the so-called 'Brick Beach' project to regenerate Mezquitilla beach in Vélez-Málaga met with residents last Tuesday to discuss the project and to answer their concerns.
The project involves regenerating part of the beach which started to disappear 40 years ago as a consequence of the Caleta de Vélez port development, with treated building rubble. Four million of the total five million euro budget is set to come from the European Union, which has set a deadline of 2021 to complete the project.
Residents sought assurances that the plans include underwater breakwaters, so that the beach would not be washed away again during storms, which has been a problem along the coast in recent years. Another question was over the type of materials that will be used to regenerate the beach, to which Francisco Xavier Neill Castanera, professor of Ecology at the University of Malaga, replied that laboratory tests are "currently being carried out" to determine the composition and character of different materials" and that it is important to "control the levels of sulfates" in the materials used.
The next step in the project will be to build a recycling and treatment plant, which is expected to be situated next to Vélez-Málaga's sewage treatment plant, once an environmental impact evaluation report has been completed by the Junta de Andalucía's environmental delegation.
Representatives highlighted the importance of getting people on board with the project to stop the illegal dumping of construction waste, which is a major problem in the area.
Juan Jesús Martín from Malaga's Aula de Mar praised the project, saying that it is "sustainable, accessible and innovative," while mayor of Vélez-Málaga, Antonio Moreno Ferrer, said the project is "pioneering".