Environmentalists are citing a European ruling which could stop Alcudiamar development. | R.F.


The planned project to increase the size of the Alcudiamar marina in Puerto Alcudia by 12,000 square metres has generated some controversy. Into the arguments now comes a recent European ruling, which might have consequences for the expansion plan.

This ruling relates to the concession for a kiosk with terrace and pier on Lake Garda in Italy. It specifically has to do with the "automatic" extensions to activities by concession holders in coastal areas: Alcudiamar is a concession holder. The wording of the ruling suggests that automatic extensions, be they in marine or lake environments, prevent the organisation of selection procedures. In other words, there have to be public contests involving other bidders. In the case of Alcudiamar, a negotiated agreement with the Balearic Ports Authority awarded an extension until 2030. The agreement that was in place was due to expire in 2018.

The environmental pressure group GOB has picked up on the European ruling and is to present an appeal against the ports authority's decision. GOB also maintains that this decision contravened the Ports' Law in that there were no requests for mandatory reports from the Council of Majorca and Alcudia town hall and that the expansion project was not subject to an environmental impact assessment report.

With regard to the latter, the regional government has demanded that Alcudiamar presents what is called a "simplified" impact assessment report, while GOB insists that there needs to be an "ordinary" one: which in fact means a more detailed and comprehensive study.

Under such an ordinary assessment, GOB says, alternatives for investment (and Alcudiamar is planning on spending over 21 million euros) would need to be found, i.e. substitute schemes that are more sustainable and will not have supposed negative environmental impacts. This is more or less what the town hall would prefer.

Finally, GOB argues that the expansion does not comply with the special plan for the port. Therefore, it believes that it is invalid and is calling for the extension of the concession to be annulled.