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Malaga Port's hotel tower needs new environmental assessment after previous one lapses

Campaign group Defendamos Nuestro Horizonte (Defending Our Skyline) raised the issue of the expiry of the original report

IGNACIO LILLO

As more than four years have passed since the environmental assessment for the Malaga Port's planned hotel tower was passed the report has expired. Carlos Rubio, president of the plenary committee of Territorial Planning, said on Monday, 18 July, that a new simplified environmental assessment would need to be undertaken.

"The Junta tells us that the previous one has expired, so the prudent thing to do is to process it again, as quickly as possible, for the sake of legal certainty," Rubio said.

Rubio said he is confident that it will be a quick process, which would take about three months, as it is only a matter of revising the existing one, and "given that the circumstances have not changed, there is nothing that alters the physical and environmental situation; it should not take long, we hope it will be done before the end of the year".

"It's already been six years, it's worth waiting a few more months if that way we have all the legal guarantees; we are all working together to make [the project] happen as quickly as possible," he added.

Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Malaga, said the report drawn up by the Urban Planning department last Friday notes "the interruptions that have occurred in the deadlines due to different administrative issues".

Campaign group Defendamos Nuestro Horizonte (Defending Our Skyline), which raised the expiry of the report, said that the announcement of 13 October 2017 by the territorial delegation of the Environment department and territorial planning in Malaga, which publicised the strategic environmental report, was published in the BOJA Official Gazette of the Junta de Andalucía on 19 December 2017. The Strategic Environmental Report expressly includes the corresponding period of four years from its publication established by the Law.

"This period has already been more than met, including in the calculation the period of suspension of administrative deadlines decreed during the first months of the State of Alarm. The law does not establish the possibility of extending this period in the case set out in paragraph 3, letter b), which was followed in the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the aforementioned Modification of Elements,” the campaign group said.