In a totally unexpected development, the proposal to approve the modified plan to build over 2,000 new houses and apartments on Cala Mosca was not included in the agenda of last week’s Plenary meeting. The fatal blow to this last kilometre of virgin coastland has been avoided – for the moment.
In a preparatory committee meeting to agree the agenda of the Plenary, after the Ciudadanos Councillor in charge of Urbanismo presented the project as being in order and fully deserving of support, and after the objections of the opposition parties, completely unexpectedly the Popular Party and senior party in the governing coalition announced it would not vote in favour of the proposal.
This meant that Ciudadanos with only 4 councillors could not obtain sufficient votes to put forward the proposal and in a humiliating climb down, the Councillor for Urbanismo, José Aix, said he would reverse his position and withdraw the proposal in the face of doubts.
On such a major issue as the urbanisation of Cala Mosca the refusal of the Popular Party to support its coalition partner was a staggering blow.
It is doubtful that the Popular Party has undergone a conversion and is now opposed to the destruction of this last iconic cement free area. It is more likely that this is a deliberate move to clip the wings of its junior partner, which has in the past two years disproportionately used its position in the coalition to get the most powerful positions in the local government, and for two years to block the Mayor from securing approval for a key piece of legislation, the annual budget.
Since the Popular Party recently approved, with the support of the Socialist Party, a €9.5m investment package (which did not include a single item for Orihuela Costa) it could even signal a determination by the two major Orihuela parties to destroy the local Ciudadanos Party before the next municipal elections in 2023.
The failure to approve the construction project for Cala Mosca provides a breathing space for C.L.A.R.O. and its political ally Cambiemos, to continue to oppose this socially and environmentally destructive project.
There are outstanding issues such as the consequences for the N332 of some 3,000 additional vehicles merging on to this already congested road plus other pending legal actions.
To successfully oppose this project will not be easy and the Developer, Gomendio, will be even more ruthlessly determined to get his multi-million project approved before time runs out.
The story is not over.