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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lawn or Golf course?

In the protected area of Sierra Escalona, in the municipality of San Miguel de Salinas, on the border between the provinces of Alicante and Murcia, a strange thing has happened. Without any environment study presented at the regional government of Valencia, together with an application for a DIC (Declaracion de Interes Comunitario) to be able to use protected agricultural land for urbanistic purposes, has come an 8-hole golf course.

When asked what has happened, both the owner of the land and the town hall have
explained that there is no golf course on the land, only a plantation of grass!

The owner, and the town hall, seems to have feared that in this area declared "Lugar de Importancia Comunitaria" (Place of importance for the region), even the Golf-loving urbanistic authorities of the Valencia government would not have dared to give their approval.

Instead the promoter makes a lawn, looking very much like a golf course, with bunkers, red flags and palm trees.

What will happen?
An innocent from the north expects that the authorities will issue a stern instruction that the land be transformed to its original state, and that such a command will be followed.
It may be that the northern innocents will be wrong, that the authorities say nothing, that after some time golf players drift on to the lawn, swinging their clubs. Then a bit later, the municipality will permit the setting up of toilets at the edge of the lawn. They will be built and by and by extended to look much like a club house with a bar and maybe even a restaurant.

In the end we could end up with a golf-resort, with thousand dwellings and a supermarket. Illegal,yes. But it would not be the first.