Pub­lic by­ways closed off

Anger as au­thor­i­ties fail to act over clo­sure of live­stock trails

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Front Page - Nperez@cb­

Res­i­dents are up in arms over the clo­sure of sev­eral pub­lic live­stock trails by farm­ers and builders – and the in­ac­tion of the lo­cal coun­cil. They can no longer walk the tracks and en­joy the coun­try­side.

By Nuria Pérez SAN Miguel de Sali­nas res­i­dents are up in arms over the clo­sure of sev­eral pub­lic live­stock trails by farm­ers and builders – and the in­ac­tion of the lo­cal coun­cil.

Ex­pats Heike John­son and Jen­nifer Mul­let told Costa Blanca News that fences and gates have been in­stalled to pre­vent use of the pub­lic by­ways by res­i­dents.

As a re­sult they can­not en­joy the coun­try­side and walk along the tracks, even though they are ad­min­is­tered by the re­gional govern­ment.

Ad­di­tion­ally, pine trees and bushes are be­ing felled.

“I have lived in this area for nearly 20 years and I used to ride my horse to Tor­re­mendo along the live­stock trails, but now it is im­pos­si­ble be­cause it is all gated and fenced,” ex­plained Mrs John­son.

Mrs Mul­let said: “There are fences ev­ery­where, even though ac­cess should be per­mit­ted.”

She added that felled trees and bushes are be­ing piled up de­spite the high risk of fire and the lack of a fire fight­ing plan in the area.

The last straw is that the Co­lada Sierra Escalona live­stock trail at El Mi­rador de San Miguel has been turned into a pri­vate ser­vice road for ma­chin­ery and trucks of a con­struc­tion com­pany which is build­ing lux­ury vil­las in the area.

The stretch from the Camino de la Balsa road to El Mi­rador de San Miguel ur­ban­i­sa­tions was sur­faced a few years ago and used as a nar­row ser­vice road for res­i­dents, link­ing the ur­ban­i­sa­tions to Las Filip­inas, Ori­huela Costa and San Miguel de Sali­nas.

In May the coun­cil an­nounced that the ser­vice road would be closed to traf­fic be­cause it was a live­stock trail.

Town plan­ning coun­cil­lor Ser­gio Cor­reas said at the time ‘it will prob­a­bly be open to cy­clists, but not to mo­tor ve­hi­cles’.

How­ever, the road has only been closed to res­i­dents and is be­ing ex­clu­sively used by the builder and po­ten­tial buy­ers.

A pave­ment, sand and a fence have been in­stalled to pre­vent ac­cess to ur­ban­i­sa­tion res­i­dents.

Pres­i­dent of San Miguel Ar­cán­gel res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion, Manolo Gómez told Costa Blanca News the builder had blocked the ser­vice road and turned it into a pri­vate amenity for his ma­chin­ery.

“More­over the track has been widened and an ad­ver­tis­ing ban­ner for the de­vel­op­ment has been in­stalled at the junc­tion to the Camino de la Balsa to guide po­ten­tial buy­ers, even though ad­ver­tis­ing ban­ners are banned at live­stock trails,” he said.

Ad­di­tion­ally the park be­side the build­ing site has been fenced off and con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als and rub­ble dumped there.

“We are tired of hav­ing our pub­lic tracks blocked and used for pri­vate pur­poses and the au­thor­i­ties do­ing noth­ing about it,” he said.

“We can­not ac­cept that the builders al­ways win.”

The Co­lada Sierra Escalona is a nine-kilo­me­tre-long trail, start­ing at the Pico Al­cor hill in the heart of the Sierra Escalona and run­ning to the coast.

Res­i­dents view the by­way which has been closed off

The pri­vate use of the by­way has an­gered res­i­dents

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