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  #1  
Antiguo 10-may-2007, 07:51
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A Spanish disaster

Fears of a collapse in the Spanish property market have been jangling the nerves of expat Brits and prompting speculation about whether the market wobble could spread to Britain. What nobody has pointed out is that the awesome over-supply of Spanish tourist homes is a social and environmental disaster.

Spain has become the textbook case of how uncontrolled laissez-faire economics, brought to the boil by corruption, can destroy a beautiful country. The discipline and taste the Spanish exemplify in their dress, style and food, the moderation they show in their drinking habits, the planning flair exemplified by their straight roads and beautiful architecture all desert them when it comes to governance - at least at regional level.

All restraint seems to evaporate when confronted by an empty hillside facing the sea. I was driving down an obscure part of the coast of Almeria last year, one of the driest and so least developed parts of the Mediterranean coast, when I came across a hill in the middle of nowhere being consumed by bulldozers and cranes as if by maggots. White tourist homes with no connection to existing settlements were sprouting out of bare rock and scrub.

Somehow it was more shocking to come across this monumental folly, at a turn in the road, than to drive for miles along the coastal motorway above Marbella, where staggering sprawl, often built without planning permission and on the proceeds of drug money, has taken over the hillsides and marched far beyond municipal boundaries.

It couldn't happen in Britain, thanks to the town and Country Planning Act of 1947, 60 years old this year. This said building should be within existing settlements, wherever possible. Yet the British are hardly blameless when it comes to wanting somewhere in the sun. We helped create the demand that has caused the over-development of Spain. Around 250,000 homes, a third of all tourist properties in Spain, are British-owned.

To be a Spaniard with an ecological education is in Aldo Leopold's words to live in a world of wounds. I was reporting on tuna ranching near the ancient port of Cartagena a year ago when my contact and guide, a local environmentalist, stopped the car to show me a rare form of pine, otherwise found in North Africa. It lives in among the sweet-smelling herbs and low scrub of Spain's Mediterranean coast, an arid and vanishing habitat.

Then he drove me round the rows and rows of largely empty new tourist homes, the golf courses, shops and restaurants most with British names which are devouring the last hillsides around La Manga del Mar Menor. As we drove back to town, we were both seething at the philistine behaviour of my countrymen abroad.

Suntanned expats will shrug and say over-development is confined to the coast and to hotspots like Valencia, where the European Commission complained in horror when corrupt developers in league with local Xunta officials using dodgy edicts actually stole land.

That is no longer true. Thanks to new roads, funded by the EU, the tentacles are thrusting inland. I was in Ronda, in Andalucia, the birthplace of bullfighting, two weeks ago. The hill town has a new bypass, and within that a whole new quarter, and there is a free-standing new dormitory town, apparently unoccupied, on a nearby hill. In the national park, home of griffon vultures, eagles and wild flowers, there are plans for a golf course.

Spain - a country with 20 per cent less population than Britain - has been building 800,000 homes a year. Britain struggles to build 200,000 and needs to build more. But the homes Spain has built are in the wrong places, so it is no example to follow. The homes it has built are in the south and on the coast, when there is homelessness in Madrid.

The rape of Spain by its developers is a terrible warning to those who seek to speed up our planning system by removing local accountability and the right to object in principle to major developments. Spain should be required study both for the Treasury megalomaniacs unleashed by Kate Barker and Gordon Brown and the free marketeers of the right-wing Policy Exchange.

So far Britain, a much smaller country in size, has not gone down the same route as Spain - except, arguably, a century or more ago. But we may be headed in the same direction in a few years' time. New Barker-inspired planning guidance, now in force, actively encourages building in places where the market is overheating. Are we not in danger of doing what Spain has done - destroying some of the places we love the most?


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  #2  
Antiguo 10-may-2007, 08:12
nunca _bajan nunca _bajan está desconectado
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[ironic mode=on]

esta claro, nos tienen envidia, que seamos el pais mas rico de la UE (medido en cayennes/hab) y con mas progreso (ladrillo/hab) y que hemos entrao en el el SXXI antes que nadie (prostibulos/hab)..

viva españa, JAR!!

[ironic mode=off]

en fin...


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  #3  
Antiguo 10-may-2007, 08:44
blackfriday blackfriday está desconectado
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Are we not in danger of doing what Spain has done - destroying some of the places we love the most?

Esto ya no es un problema de burbuja inmobiliaria, nos hemos cargado para el resto del tiempo la mayor parte de la naturaleza de nuestras costas (y ya están comenzando con las montañas). Y eso si que no tiene solución.

Esto desde el punto de vista medioambiental. Y para todos los especuladores y demás calaña, que sepáis que os habeis cargado el modelo turístico español, y que después de la construcción el turismo será el próximo en caer.


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  #4  
Antiguo 10-may-2007, 08:53
iwannaafairwage iwannaafairwage está desconectado
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Agradecido 6 veces en 1 mensaje
A mi me hace sentir vergüenza. Nunca somos ejemplos de nada.

Bueno si: "The discipline and taste the Spanish exemplify in their dress, style and food, the moderation they show in their drinking habits."

Somos antiguos y disciplinados.

¿Tendrá ese apunte algo que ver con el pepitismo, lo de que "la hipoteca siempre se paga", el lonchafinismo en los bares....?


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  #5  
Antiguo 10-may-2007, 11:36
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... nos hemos cargado para el resto del tiempo la mayor parte de la naturaleza de nuestras costas (y ya están comenzando con las montañas). Y eso si que no tiene solución.

Si que tiene solucion:

DINAMITAR!!!


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  #6  
Antiguo 10-may-2007, 11:40
Planeta vivo Planeta vivo está desconectado
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Ayer me lo propuso un amigo, dinamitar un nuevo edificio feo y alto que se esta construyendo en medio de mi pueblo y a nadie le gusta....

Quien pasa barata un poco de goma 3

Conoceis algún minero....


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  #7  
Antiguo 10-may-2007, 11:46
kelo kelo está desconectado
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Ayer me lo propuso un amigo, dinamitar un nuevo edificio feo y alto que se esta construyendo en medio de mi pueblo y a nadie le gusta....

Quien pasa barata un poco de goma 3

Conoceis algún minero....

Derribos.... que te va a que es el negocio del futuro? (ojala)


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  #8  
Antiguo 10-may-2007, 11:49
estupido estupido está desconectado
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... the moderation they show in their drinking habits...

Estamos hablando del mismo pais?

O es qué los ingleses son todos cómo los que vienen a Lloret?


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  #9  
Antiguo 10-may-2007, 11:58
Mi_casa_es_tu_casa Mi_casa_es_tu_casa está desconectado
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El artículo pone el ejemplo español para el gobierno británico de lo que NO se debe hacer.


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