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Destruction of a paradise for the many just for the greed of a few

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Offline David

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« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2008, 21:41 PM »
Hi All
Article from this weeks Euro weekly. We are getting the message out to expats both German and English we are failing with Spanish press,and ideas ???

Natural wildlife and historical heritage at risk in Casarabonela
• 04 Sep 2008 •

THE villagers of Casarabonela, in Sierra de las Nieves, as well as foreign residents living in the area, have been complaining for months about the possible reopening of the old Los Jarales quarry, which was in operation in 1992/93 before it was closed down. According to residents, back in 2004, they protested against the first attempt to reopen the quarry, led by pressure group ‘Platform Against the Quarry’ and successfully stopped the then owners from being issued with a licence to restart operations. A referendum was called to get an accurate reading of the feelings of local people; 700 people voted and rejected the reopening of the site by more than 92 per cent. Even before the referendum, the mayor gave a pledge that the quarry would not restart operations whilst he was mayor if the village decided to vote against it and said he would seek other uses for this very special area of pine forest near the village Then, recently, an unknown company purchased 54 hectares of the area below the mountain from the previous British enterprise that owned it and is now demanding the quarry to be reopened or it will start legal action against the town hall. The mayor said he did not want the quarry to reopen but the quarry company had given him until the end of September to issue the necessary licences. According to sources, if the town hall fails to do this, they may suffer financial sanctions. The Platform Against the Quarry fear the mayor will approve the licence without  any further investigations or consultation with the people. They say the mayor has the last say on this issue and that without his signature, the quarry cannot reopen. They argue that the mayor has had sufficient time since 2004 to take out indemnity insurance against possible litigation and that no financial sanctions can compare with the negative environmental impact this quarry could bring to the whole area. According to the platform, the restarting of operations is not the only issue at stake, but there is also the risk of destroying a very important landmark known locally as ‘La Cola’, a road that forms part of a protected ancient route used for centuries to drive cattle to market from Ronda to Malaga. Under current law, Proteccion Ambiental Ley 7/1994, it cannot be tampered with, asphalted or concreted. The platform argues that the road could be the route used by the mining company to remove quarried material and service the site and that the transport problem alone emphasises the very inappropriate nature of the area for a quarry site near the village and in the high mountains. The village of Casarabonela is within the UNESCO Reserve of the Biosphere, together with the Sierra de las Nieves. These organisations’ names and logos are used within the town hall’s marketing to encourage inland tourism to the region, depicting areas of outstanding natural beauty, clean air, wildlife, peace and tranquillity. Local people are hoping for an environmental impact study to be carried out in a clear and transparent manner before the mayor signs off any licence that could see the loss of natural wildlife and historical heritage, not to mention the risk of possible heath problems to the local population.

Offline David

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« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2008, 01:19 AM »
Well the Platform met tonight and it was explained that the Mayor is still on holiday and therefore our letter handed into the town hall early last week with the Lawyers opinions has still not been actioned yet, well thats the official answer. :roxysnail:
We will be patient until the end of the week and give the council the benefit of the doubt despite total silence from the town hall since the Town Hall meeting 22 July 2008 .
I do have to admit and many others are saying the same that with the number one crisis this village has faced for many decades it seems strange that the person who has the responsibility to sort the problem and asked for reasons to stop the quarry, takes a very extended holiday instead of returning to work and sorting it out. :no idea:

Offline David

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« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2008, 16:04 PM »
The chairman of the plataforma contra cantera  met the Mayor eventually on Thursday.He has seen our letter and passed it to the Lawyer he brought to the meeting when he announced this disaster in July.
We must now wait and see what the answer from his Lawyer will be .A negative result i think will be difficult as both our lawyers came up with the reasons why he does not have to issue the license independently of each other, and were both virtually identical.
A point of interest there is a new lady in charge of the medio ambiente in Malaga .She has given a very good interview in Malaga Hoy regarding her stance on the environment, lets hope she keeps her word, and she starts to make this important department do its  job properly. 

Offline lisa

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« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2008, 07:59 AM »
Keep us informed please David. Fingers crossed!
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Offline David

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« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2008, 18:43 PM »
This article was in yesterdays Malaga Hoy newspaper. The translation is from google so be careful.

 
The City Council Casarabonela will have no choice but to authorize the opening of a quarry in an area of the Sierra de Alcaparaín, declared in part as a Place of Community Interest (SCI) and situated in the middle of the Biosphere Reserve of the Sierra de las Nieves, if the government of Andalusia finally confirms the validity of a permit granted nearly 20 years ago.

It is the only formality is left in the quarry in The Jaral begin to function after a long bureaucratic process for handling. Will occupy about 50 hectares and, although about 40 are classified as rustic land, the rest are protected by the Natura 2000 network of the European Union two years ago.

Francisco Armada, a member of the platform against the quarries and councilor of the Association of Independent municipality, said that this is the area richer environment of this mountain and believed that "there are more than sufficient legal grounds to refuse to grant the license" .

The company Calizas Andalusia again requested in July this year that the grant will allow it to start operating this quarry after it has completed a period of two years stipulated by the City while revising the General Urban Plan (land-use plan) , Which has not yet been approved. However, Navy accused the mayor of Casarabonela, Sebastian Gomez, of "not having done anything to prevent it finally takes place."

And that is popular pressure led to the socialist alderman to engage in a plenary session in 2004 to not grant any license to authorize the quarrying activity in the town after the 92% of the 800 residents who participated in a consultation reject the project. But four years later recognized that it was "an illegal agreement" because it "can not be granted a license to a referendum as this is a regulated process that you have all the necessary permits from the administration."

The City Council has requested a report on all councils involved to see if the permissions granted to allow this quarry since 1988 remained in effect.

But according to the mayor counted, all indications are that the concessions are still valid and, if it does not grant the license for opening the quarry, the City Council would have to pay more than ten million euros in compensation for the investment made by the company so far, besides the loss of profits for the years of concession.

"I am willing to pay the political price for the agreement that I took but I am not going to allow that decision to mortgage the future of the people," he said.

The platform calls against the quarry, however, that the area where it is expected to authorize the opening of the quarry is designated as an area of special protection in the new urban planning. In addition, he criticized the Ministry of Environment to authorize the company to use the actual glen Round as road entrance and exit of trucks from the quarry once it is implemented.

It is strange two weeks ago we gave the Mayor two independant lawyers opinions which both came up with at least 4 options to deny the licence without any compensation being paid to these sharks.To date he has not replied  :speechless: :noidea:

Offline David

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« Reply #45 on: September 26, 2008, 13:45 PM »
It is amazing how sometimes the strangest things happen.
This morning we had a massive Sonic boom from two military jets as they passed high over the mountain where the quarry is proposed .The shock waves were very strong rattling windows and doors,and it was heard all the way to Malaga, even made the BBC news.The village thought the quarry had opened and it was the first explosion.
Woke them up a bit and the Cantera became a talking point amongst the Spanish once again. :clapping:
 

Offline Clive

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« Reply #46 on: September 26, 2008, 15:33 PM »
And how did you arrange that fly over then David? Know someone in high places do we ???

:)
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Offline tiggy

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« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2008, 18:34 PM »
Hi David ,  Hopefully they will all wake up in the village , as to what could happen in our lovely countryside of Casarabonela.   Spoke with friends in the village, who have close contact with the Town Hall .
They tell me that the Spanish are totally taken in with The Mayors account of " His Hands are tied  with regards the opening of the quarry "  Spanish are all unaware that
the Lawyers have found reasons and solutions for the Mayor ,so he doesnt need to sign the certificate.

I have emphasied that the letter which was presented to the Mayor had all of this information in , also that he may not be around for the next elections , leaving village
with years of devastion at the quarry , on the roads , through the village , not to mention the destruction to the countryside!

Helen

Offline David

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« Reply #48 on: September 28, 2008, 09:45 AM »
Hi Helen
Yes i fear that you are right regarding the village .There are two things that make them feel safe and  that it wont effect them . The Quarry is about 1.5 km from and above  the village and they think thats far away .The location above the village and wind direction north will bring the dust on them but like a lot of things here it has to happen before they complain.
The second is that they think the Canada Real La Cola will be used to transport the material so they wont be effected, however even the Mayor thought that would be difficult when he spoke with Paco at the end of last week.Unless they get the Canada Real and are able to hard surface it the trucks will not be able to use it for a great deal of the time especially during the winter months. I think if it is opened they will then want to use the village road in winter these sharks will use every avenue at their disposal to make money.
There are however a lot of people in the village who privately will tell you they are against it and support what we are doing. Paco Amarda (Chairman Platform)  is the most increadable guy, calm , hard working, intelligent and focused. He knows that if this goes ahead there is no going back for our village and he is trying everything in his power to stop it.       

Offline David

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« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2008, 20:41 PM »
We still await a decision from the Mayor as to what he is going to do regarding signing the licence.The initial PGOU was discussed last week but we are not privy as to what is in it at this stage. 
On Friday however we had a  unusual turn of events,Two strangers turned up in the village and started visiting all the shops and businesses in the high street asking to put up leaflets .In most they were turned down however they managed to place a few in which to be honest are impartial shopkeepers .On a visit to the village last night i counted three showing, one of which will last about one night being stuck on the outside of the bank wall with sellotape.
The leaflet is announcing a meeting on the 17 October to allow the Quarry company to explain the benefits of having a quarry in the village ( that should take about 2 minutes some short term money  and about 5 jobs )
Well we can go and listen and try to put our point of view accross ,at least we can put a face to the company even if it will only be a lawyer.
Cant wait >:D

Offline David

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« Reply #50 on: October 07, 2008, 20:16 PM »
Hi all there is an article today about the proposed quarries in the SUR interior can you help me by posting a comment or two on the article ( link below )


http://www.diariosur.es/20081007/interior/elevan-proyectos-nuevas-canteras-20081007.html

Offline David

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« Reply #51 on: October 20, 2008, 00:23 AM »
The  Company Ortega Vela s.a came to the village and gave a presentation on the benefits  of the quarry to the people who attended their meeting .We as a platform did not attend sending our Lawyer and Chairperson.This was a strategy because there are negative reports being spread that  only the foreigners want to stop the quarry.This is not true but a good ploy to spread this word and split the support against it.  It was frankly quite laughable if it was not so serious for the village .The people who gave the presentation clearly had not been briefed properly or in they had were inept .It was pathetic.Showed now reclaimed quarry in Majorca,this is what the quarry will look like when it is finished .What about the next 20 years ? Don't know .The route is of no use to you as its Canada Real is not  allowed to be asphalted ? We will build another road ,where ? Don't Know .What about the dust ? well the wind direction is mainly away from the village .What thats not true but what about  the 120 + houses below the quarry ? which houses are they? What about the water aquafirs? well they will not be damaged.
It went on for nearly two hours the 2 guys got questioned about every angle and really could not answer many questions appart from in the future it will look like this.

The mayor snook in at the back after the meeting had started and watched the proceedings, I would love to have known what was going through his mind whilst stood there. He left very early obviously a more pressing and important  problem to deal with "Dog Pooh or litter"   The village is going through the bigest disaster in its recent history and the mayor has not got the time to sit in the audience listen to the arguments and consider options with the people who want to stop this.He says he is against it . I draw my own conclusions as i am sure you do..I never thought that i would be spending mine and others own money to fight the decisions of a PSOE Socialist council. The Ex Mayor( PP) was there to support the pro Quarry campaign why? he has a parcel near to this quarry which he has applied to open a marble quarry on it. after 20 years of inactivity.Just before he left office the area was declared as having social interest,its certiainly got his interest. You could not get a comedy script writer to do it justice   We battle on taking day by day .We have produced an environmental Impact assessment through a Malaga Biologiawhich, it was handed in personally to the delegate of the Medio Ambiente on Friday last and will be taken to the the Junta departments this week .Once cleared for public release I will try and post it on the site.it shows the areas richness and importance so well. 

Offline David

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« Reply #52 on: October 24, 2008, 21:53 PM »
This is the Chairmans version of the events of last friday smeeting

Casarabonela PLATFORM AGAINST THE QUARRY

From the briefing held on Friday October 17 2008 in the municipal public library,Casarabonela organized by the company that owns the quarry "The Jarales," we can draw several conclusions:
 
First. The clear and firm will of the neighbours of Casarabonela,is still contrary to the opening of quarries in our village.

Second. The false arguments presented by the company, based on an alleged exploitation of marble, a material that they have no mining licence to allow them to exploit  because they do not have permission to do so.

Third. The absence of any economic benefits to the people of the village, nor for the municipality. They raised the possibility of a scholarship, but used this same argument 20 years ago, which never materialised.


We were told that we would not be affected by dust, which will not reach Casarabonela, situated less than 2 kilometers away, also we should not be worried by the explosions  or by noise or the passage of the many large Quarry trucks  using the road or by loss of or pollution of the underground water reserves because the aquifers on Alcaparaín, they said, would not suffer.
If any issues occoured we as individuals or the Town Hall could make a formal complaint and it would be investigated and that both the City Councillors  and the residents could complain to the company if it did not comply with the law. 

In the end, when  there is nothing left to extract there would be a restoration plan similar to a photo they showed and  as we saw in this photo the planting of more trees in a hole of more than 40 meters deep where we could go walking and enjoy the area if we wanted to

Given these assertions  by the company neighbours and  bystanders responded as follows:
1 .- It is 4 years since in a referendum organized by the City Council, that 92% of the voters  said NO TO THE QUARRY IN Casarabonela.
2 .- The company has no authorization to extract marble, if  there indeed any in this plot. They can only exploit the resources of the so-called Section A, namely sand and gravel, but it seems that this material is no longer of interests to them. To obtain the authorization they must submit a new operating plan and a new restoration plan, and to the city council which should require them to submit a new environmental impact study by the Environmental Quality Act on July 9, 2007.
They spoke about 14 jobs in the extraction of marble, spoke of the creation of fourteen jobs whilst in the documentation submitted to the City Council they guarantee only four.
3. - In the Valley of Abdalajís the necessary studies regarding water were made and yet with the works of the AVE the area has been left without water.
4 .- At no time has there been any mention that the area has been declared a Site of Community Importance (SCI) in 2006 for its environmental and scenic values, by its importance for water in Casarabonela and by the wealth of flora and fauna there. They merely say that the plot "The Jarales" is a "wasteland", a dead zone where nothing grows. It looks that they have not even been there.
5. - What capacity does a neighbour have to deal with the company in the event that it fails to comply with the law? None.
6 .- What confidence can we have in the administration when we see what is happening with the quarries in Alhaurin de la Torre, Coin, Monda, Ojén, Torremolinos, and so on. None.
7. - It is the people who need to put pressure on politicians not to grant the license to open, using the legal arguments and legal reasons.
8. - The company only wants to make money at the expense of our health and the nature of Casarabonela. The restoration of the quarry and the repairs to the road we would end up paying for in our taxes.
9. - What happens to all people living and working in that area? Casarabonela as a whole will lose quality of life and diminish as a tourist area, less people will come to the area, land and homes will lose value.
10 All damage done will not be repaired by the company that owns the quarry.
11. - NO TO THE QUARRY, YES TO THE CONSISTENCY AND THE DIGNITY OF AN ALL PEOPLE!


Offline David

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« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2008, 14:15 PM »
As they are now talking about now trying to get a licence for marble extraction ,i thought this pictures showed the startling difference bettween our Mountain and someone s Else's mountain in spain destroyed. If they were to get this licence  they would have to go higher up the mountain side to get at the material. "Bring back MDF all is forgiven".
I hope this link works shows marble extraction
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blepAgovgAc
 

Offline Clive

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« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2008, 14:33 PM »
Keep on posting David and don't let them grind you down.....

How about posting some more pictures of the area....

Clive
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Offline David

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« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2008, 15:20 PM »
Hi Clive
Will do i have been trying to find the day to get up there and do some more up to date ones now the rain has greened  everything up. Here is one someone else took from El Burgo in the meantime.

I  have our complete Environmental impact assessment on Adobe reader which i have  have been trying to figure a way how to get it onto the site.  I will send it to you if you find it it interesting maybe you could post it ?.

It is interesting from someone Else's perspective what they think about these places we love so much .The owners of the quarry site refer to this mountain as  Quote  an "erial" dead zone or wasteland.

Thanks for the support 

Offline David

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« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2008, 11:17 AM »
Hi I picked this up on our village website  wwwforociudadcasarabonela  don't know how this person found this out but the exact time and date indicates someone in the know. Frankly i would not be surprised at anything as everything is possible in these situations as i have found out over the months we are fighting this disaster. You have to read between the lines a little as the translation is from Google   

Taken and translated from www.forociudadcasarabonela
CHATTING contubernio that the alliance is a secret, illegal and reprehensible.

What did our honorable Mr. Mayor, on Friday, Nov. 7, 2008, at 11 a.m., at the premises of one of the quarries in the company of their representatives in a cordial and friendly attitude, surrounded by large luxury cars?

What matters as important are trying to be in a paragraph and so far from the gaze of their neighbors?

Is the award of the license Opening? I understand that these procedures are handled at the city hall and not between pine trees.

Perhaps it took to to smoke a cigarette, since the City Council is a non-smoking, or eating a sandwich of potato omelette.

I am frankly puzzled and would be grateful if someone could give me an answer.

Offline Clive

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« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2008, 11:31 AM »
Could you copy and paste the original text please.... That Google translation is not so good.

Clive
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Offline David

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« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2008, 11:40 AM »
Origonal text from foro ciudad  casarabonela

Dicese del contubernio que es una alianza secreta, ilícita y reprochable.

¿Qué hacía nuestro honorable Sr. Alcalde, el viernes 7 de noviembre de 2008, a las 11 A.M.,en las instalaciones de una de las canteras en compañía de sus representantes en actitud cordial y amistosa, rodeados de grandes automóviles de lujo?

¿Qué asuntos tan importantes estarían tratando para verse en un lugar tan apartado y lejos de la mirada de sus vecinos?

¿La concesión de la Licencia de Apertura? Tengo entendido que esos trámites se gestionan en el Ayuntamiento y no entre pinos.

Tal vez salieron al campo para fumarse un cigarrillo, dado que en el Ayuntamiento está prohibido fumar o, a comerse un bocadillo de tortilla de patatas.

Estoy francamente intrigado y estaría agradecido si alguien me puede dar una respuesta.

Offline David

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« Reply #59 on: November 25, 2008, 14:28 PM »
Picked up this from the Olive press Western edition. Another environmental disaster looming The villagers of Periana have also found out just three days before a licence to open yet another quarry in the Axarquira area was to be signed.
We had more notice but not due to the Town Halls openness but due to the independent party members in the village hearing jungle drums and immediately reacted forcing the Mayor to hold a meeting. He had the papers over a month ,fact as they were logged into the town halls mailing system .When would we have found out? probably 3 days before as they have done.
Their arguments are all the same as ours, health, wildlife, tourism  habitat etc etc.

Well i wish them luck with their cause and if any of them use this site if they need any help or advice i am willing to help where i can.it is a lonely old road i can tell you .It has changed my rosy view of the world, governments and even organisations  who i believed where trying to stop these things .In the latter's defence I think they have so many cases they just don't know where to turn next.