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Protesters in the Torrox Park residential area on Wednesday 16 August. SUR
Costa del Sol residents continue fight against Endesa electricity substation plans
Protest

Costa del Sol residents continue fight against Endesa electricity substation plans

Torrox residents fear that the new substation, together with the two high-voltage pylons in the area, will lead to health risks

Eugenio Cabezas

Torrox

Monday, 21 August 2023, 13:10

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Holding banners with the slogan 'don't play with our health', around 120 protesters gathered in the Torrox Park residential area last Wednesday 16 August, where Endesa has begun work on the construction of a new electricity substation.

The project has been in the pipeline for two decades, but finally started last week despite residents' rejection of the project which was granted planning permission last November.

The residents have formed a group which includes the parent-teachers associations of El Faro and Mare Nostrum primary schools and the Jorge Guillén secondary school, which are all located less than 200 metres away from the site. Residents groups including Torrox en Auge and two of the three opposition parties, PSOE and IU, have also joined, among others.

Continue fighting

The area is home to around a thousand residents and the new group explained to SUR last week that they have formed to "continue fighting" against the location chosen by the town hall "because of the risk to health".

Mayor of Torrox, Óscar Medina, has responded to the group by saying that the reports prior to the work starting were “favourable” and that there was “no risk to health”.

The group told SUR: "We are taking action on the principle of prudence. Although they tell us that it is harmless, they have not shown us the reports, because they simply do not exist, they are advisory reports.” The group added that they have proposed four alternative sites for the station but have been told that they are "not suitable”.

University of Malaga study

Residents fear that the new substation, together with the two high-voltage pylons in the area, "will lead to an increased risk of developing cancer, more cases of childhood leukaemia, as well as disorders such as insomnia, headaches, tachycardia and allergies".

They are also concerned about the effect it will have on the value of properties in the area. "We are opposed to the construction of an electricity substation in Torrox, we are in favour of guaranteeing the electricity supply, but we don't want it next to our houses and schools,” the group said.

Medina has said that the reports are based on a study being carried out by the University of Malaga: “The electromagnetic field emissions are zero, unless you are less than 25 metres away, when the regulations say that they can be up to 300 megahertz,” he said, adding, “you can't play with people's health".

Torrox has not been able to get planning permission for years because “we do not have a sufficient supply”, Medina explained. He added that there is a portable substation in the Puerto Narixa area but the town receives electricity from Nerja and Torre del Mar, “where by the way there are much older substations that are much closer to the houses," said the mayor of Torrox. "What does the opposition want? For new houses not to be built and people are unable to live in Torrox?" He asked.

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