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COSTA NOVA RESIDENTS CONFRONT TOWN HALL OVER GRANADELLA PARK-&-RIDE SCHEME
Mayor José Chulvi was presented with a petition signed by over 600 people condemning the project

Thursday 7th September 2017

JAVEA NEWS | Granadella Controversy

On the evening of Monday 4th September some 50 residents from the Costa Nova zone who have been seriously affected by the Granadella park-&-ride scheme piloted by the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia over the summer held a second resident's meeting to discuss their opposition to the scheme. And, after asking municipal officials to stay away from the first meeting, this time the residents invited mayor José Chulvi and councillor Kika Mata (Services) to attend as well as Steve Cooper from Euratex, the UK-based company which carried out a fire safety assessment on behalf of the concerned residents.

The main arguments put forward by the residents to the municipal officials were related to the lack of consultation over the location of the car-park in the Zona Verde area in Costa Nova, the health and safety aspects of that car-park in terms of fire risks, traffic management problems and sanitation, the destruction of a green zone area and insufficient work carried out to seek alternative solutions to the closure of the river-bed car-park in the Granadella zone.

After a review of activity to date, Mr Cooper, a resident of Xàbia, gave a summary of the European Standard Fire Risk Assessment which had been carried out by his company, explaining the highly hazardous nature of the work that had been carried out and the requirement to bring the parking zone up to approved standards. He explained that the isolated nature of the site was of particular notice, being located some 45 minutes from the Bomberos stationed in Dénia, along with the lack of a trained full-time parking attendant to administer traffic management and to extinguish potential small fires as well as the requirement to be able to communicate a need for assistance quickly and effectively. The ground area was of concern, being covered in material of a combustible nature (mulch) as well as the number of discarded cigarette butts in the zone and the presence of a camper van on the day of the assessment. He concluded that a fire would spread quickly in such an environment and outlined issues concerning egress and evacuation.

A petition of some 625 signatures was presented to Mayor José Chulvi to highlight to strong opposition to the parking area in a Zona Verde in the middle of the residential urbanisation in Costa Nova,

During the Q&A session that followed, which the organisers admitted was difficult to manage due to the multiple languages involved, although two translators were on hand and coped well, the representatives from the Ayuntamiento said that they didn't believe that it was necessary to consult with residents about the creation of the parking area since the law allowed them to use up to 40% of any land designated at Zona Verde (Green Zone) for such infrastructure. (This related to chapter 3.3 of the current PGOU which established that if a Zone Verde is more than 1,000 square metres in size, the municipal authorities can use up to 40% for parking areas adjacent to the existing road network as well as other facilities such as sports activities, outdoor bar service facilities, kiosk (such as that in Parque Pinosol) so long as it doesn't cover more than 60 square metres and temporary events such as fairs, theatre, etc. Having subsequently seen the regulations, it seems that the residents believe that it is open to interpretation and has been badly written. However, the Ayuntamiento conceded that in going forward, the residents of Costa Nova would be actively consulted and invited to future meetings on the development of the Granadella Park-&-Ride scheme. They also added that property-buyers in Xàbia should always consult them as part of the purchasing process as well as with solicitors.

The representatives from the Ayuntamiento also explained that two potential sites had been looked at, the other being located at La Guardia Park but that they had chosen the Costa Nova option because they believed that few residents would be affected. The added that the Policía Local had been monitoring the scheme during the summer, visiting the site every 20 minutes although this was strong contested by the residents living close by the parking area. Mayor José Chulvi said that the Ayuntamiento was no longer encouraging more tourism into Xàbia in an attempt to control numbers but didn't see that the park-&-ride scheme was advertising Granadella and making it more accessible resulting in very high numbers in a very small cove.

The organisers said that it was clear that residents were extremely angry, frustrated and even fearful of the consequential effects of the Granadella project and felt very dissatisfied with the answers from the representatives from the Ayuntamiento which resulted in heated discussions. Resident from Granadella were also present at the meeting and made their own concerns known regarding the routing of traffic imposed upon them. The representatives offered to see people individually to listen to their concerns. The post-meeting feeling was that those who attended did not feel that their questions had been answered satisfactorily and many admitted that they were shocked by some of the answers given, the lack of safety and consideration for the wellbeing of residents as well as the denial by the municipal representatives of some of the facts. Residents left the meeting feeling that their concerns were not of high priority to the Ayuntamiento but hoped that a resolution could still be reached.

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