Construction on the coast

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October 25

All local residents living along Orihuela Costa will be all too aware that the construction industry is again seeing a re-emergence with large building sites springing up on vacant land throughout the region. Some of these building projects are very large and all are high density, so it is a reasonable proposition to envisage that the resident population of the coast will increase if these properties are successfully sold.

Another factor of the development of the coast is that when it rains and the floods come instead of following their natural course and flowing down a barranco it is being diverted, roughly just under half of the barrancos have been taken out of action so we will see the floods not only continue but also possibly increase because of the over development without any thought.

I seriously question whether the planning authority based 30 kilometres away in Orihuela have really analysed the consequences of an increase in residents living on the Costa. Simple calculations demonstrate that any increase in the Orihuela Costa population will put additional strains on the inadequate seriously underfunded infrastructure and limited council services available on the coast.

Looking at the other end of the age spectrum what effects would an increase in retired residents have? Well it is a well-known fact that there are virtually no services for older people on Orihuela Costa. However it is a certainty that the huge influx of retired residents that moved here during the late 1990s are ageing and with time will become increasingly immobile and dependent. They will require care services, day care and even residential care, all services that are conspicuous by their absence. Many people will die here and require burial but they will be unable to be interred in the municipality they lived in as there is no cemetery on the Costa and there are absolutely no plans or intentions by the Orihuela based councillors to provide one! For the majority of retirees residing on Orihuela Costa when they immigrated to Spain they had every intention to be permanent residents. The majority of residents have no second home in their country of origin; they sold up their belongings and made what they believed to be a total commitment to live out their remaining days in Spain.

It is totally irresponsible that the Orihuela based planning authority give permissions to constructors to build thousands of additional homes without planning, providing and financing the services people require when they live in them. As long as Orihuela Costa fails to have adequate political representation on the council we will continue to witness construction without a conscience.

Peter Houghton

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