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Álora council processes over 300 official complaints from residents

The special advice office is located next to the town hall in Álora.
The special advice office is located next to the town hall in Álora. / J.A.
  • Has opened a special office for local residents who wish to complain or find out more about the large solar energy parks planned in the municipality

The Guadalhorce valley town of Álora has opened a special office for local residents who wish to complain or find out more about the large solar energy parks planned in the municipality.

The period for making an official complaint ended on Tuesday this week and over 300 objections had been received, but the office will stay open.

Desirée Cortés, deputy mayor, said that the office is an annex of the Álora town hall building that has staff specially trained in assisting with enquires and the paperwork of making a complaint.

"It's a completely free service. Local residents have come who hadn't even been told that their land had been included in one of these megaparks," explained Cortés.

The council contracted a law firm that specialises in environmental protection matters, which wrote a standard template document for people to make formal objections to the schemes.

Any local resident could study it at home, fill it in and send it in remotely over the internet or hand it in to the office in person.

"By doing that we have streamlined much of the process and locals can access accurate information on what these schemes are really about," said Cortés.

After an initial rush, the number of enquiries died down earlier this week as the deadline approached.

However the office is staying open to provide advice and information going forward.

Freeze on current projects

In addition to the new office, Álora has voted to freeze the approval of any of the new solar panel parks for a year, which is the maximum period allowed in law.

Álora council has also asked both the Junta de Andalucía regional government and central government to introduce the same ban for a year on new solar energy projects.