Coun­cil urged to take ac­tion over crum­bling cliffs

“A more am­bi­tious project is needed to pro­tect the coast­line from ero­sion”

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - News - [email protected]

By Nuria Pérez THE COL­LAPSE of a sec­tion of the cliff above the prom­e­nade at Cala Capitán in Ori­huela Costa last week has ex­posed the se­ri­ous ero­sion prob­lem the coast­line is suf­fer­ing due to vi­o­lent sea storms and tor­ren­tial rain.

So­cial­ist party (PSOE) coun­cil­lor María Gar­cía re­minded on Mon­day that coun­cil of­fi­cers had warned of the chal­lenge fac­ing the lo­cal au­thor­ity back in March last year.

They high­lighted that in the mid to long term ero­sion will present a huge risk to prop­er­ties stand­ing close to the cliffs.

Ac­cord­ing to Sra Gar­cía, a coun­cil en­gi­neer stated in a re­port that the metal net placed over the cliff face and re­in­force­ment works in the area ‘were not a so­lu­tion’ and only pre­vented small col­lapses due to ero­sion.

The works were con­tracted out last year for €187,000 – nearly €100,000 less than ini­tially bud­geted.

Sra Gar­cía claimed the ero­sion also presents a risk for pedes­tri­ans us­ing the prom­e­nade.

“Tak­ing into ac­count the en­gi­neer’s re­port, we think that re­pair­ing the net is not enough to pro­tect pedes­tri­ans, the prom­e­nade and the prop­er­ties,” she said.

“Those were emer­gency works, but a more am­bi­tious project is needed to pro­tect the coast­line from ero­sion in the mid term.”

PSOE coun­cil­lors have of­fi­cially asked the town plan­ning de­part­ment whether ad­di­tional mea­sures have been taken and whether prop­er­ties in the area were built legally.

Coun­cil­lor for beaches and co­or­di­na­tor for Ori­huela Costa, Luisa Boné told Costa Blanca News that the works at Cala Capitán cliff were aimed to pro­tect the prom­e­nade and pedes­tri­ans from rock­fall and that ‘is ex­actly what the net has done’.

“The sand and rocks will be re­moved and the net will be re­paired and put back,” she said.

She pointed out that the ero­sion process and risk of col­lapse in the mid to long term is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent is­sue.

Ac­cord­ing to Sra Boné, a two-kilo­me­tre-long con­crete wall or break­wa­ter would need to be built along the coast to pro­tect it from ero­sion, which is fi­nan­cially un­vi­able and would never be per­mit­ted by the na­tional coast de­part­ment (Costas).

“They con­sider that ero­sion is a nat­u­ral process and should not be stopped,” she said.

“Spe­cific pro­tec­tion ac­tion in spe­cific ar­eas could be pro­posed to Costas and the coun­cil has com­mis­sioned a re­port to es­tab­lish the ar­eas of high­est risk.”

Sra Boné ad­mit­ted that homes close to the cliff could be in trou­ble in the mid to long term due to ero­sion.

“The town plan­ning de­part­ment should make clear whether the swim­ming pools, gar­dens and prop­er­ties stand­ing on top of the cliff are in the right place or not from a le­gal and plan­ning point of view,” she stated.

“The coun­cil, Costas and the prop­erty own­ers will have to take mea­sures in the fu­ture.”

Pres­i­dent of the fed­er­a­tion of res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tions (FAOC), Tomás Moreno said the safety of the prom­e­nade and pedes­tri­ans should be guar­an­teed re­gard­less of cost.

“When the net was be­ing in­stalled, it was clear that it was in­suf­fi­cient be­cause the cliff is se­ri­ously eroded and has many holes,” he said.

“The prom­e­nade at Cabo Roig is one of the land­marks of Ori­huela Costa and the coun­cil should work to get the go-ahead from Costas to keep it safe and open.”

Fanny Ser­rano with Roberto Fuentes

The crum­bling cliff has be­come a big prob­lem for the coun­cil

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