Wednesday 31st March 2021 | CARLOS LÓPEZ; translation MIKE SMITH
Residents of Xàbia have received a surprise this week after it was confirmed that Costas wants to return all sections of the Primer Montañar de Xàbia to their previous state. This was confirmed by mayor José Chulvi in response to a question from PP spokeswoman Rosa Cardona at the plenary session of Xàbia Council on Monday.
For many years, proposals for the Primer Montañar (the stretch of coastline which runs between the port and the Arenal) have dominated local politics, whether it be a million-euro promenade, as proposed during the tenure of PP’s Juan Moragues, or a coastal path, as proposed by current mayor José Chulvi when he began his second term at the helm. Former councillor for Urban Planning, Pere Sapena, even presented Costas with an outline proposal, a project that was also submitted to the Town Planning Council when it met and the meetings were public.
Chulvi himself was also photographed with the candidate for Congress, Herick Campos, in 2016, announcing that if the PSOE took control of central government, he would commit to creating the coast path, even announcing a contest to garner ideas for the project.
This house of cards of the last 11 years fell during the plenary session held last Monday when the PP spokeswoman Rosa Cardona asked the mayor about a decree that would include the contracting of technical studies in the area. In her question, she asked if this contract had something to do with the coastal path proposal and highlighted how the businesses in the port had been complaining about the loss of traffic to the area after the closure of one of the lanes of the coastal road.
From a weekend test to a definitive solution after the “great reception”
However, in his response, Chulvi referred to the measure he took a year ago to close the stretch of road for a weekend, leaving just one lane for traffic, a measure that was announced as a test and, as the Council itself declared at the time, “the great reception” it received meant that it would remain and be reviewed in September.
He argued that there was “a pandemic situation” which meant that “it was necessary to provide wide spaces to walk safely” and that they had detected the need “because there was a significant gathering of people“. He went to claim that it was something that “had been discussed many times but had never been done“. It was Compromís who raised the issue of pedestrianizing the coast road for public debate but it was Chulvi himself who announced it like so many other things during his inauguration speech.
Along these lines, he claimed that Xàbia Council has spoken with the Provincial Office for Coasts – Costas – “to see what could and couldn’t be done” and confirmed that when drafting a project “we will not do anything that the responsible administration will later refuse to authorise“.
According to Chulvi, “there are more parking spaces than there used to be” and he stated that they are studying everything in such a way that “once it is agreed, we will have it finished“. It should be remembered that both the PP and the C’s have been waiting for the technical reports that justified the closure of the one of the lanes for a year, reports that as far as XAD knows, have not yet been provided because when they were requested, they didn’t exist.
But it was confirmed that what they want is “a space along the coastline for connecting the Port and the Arenal so that people can walk in wide open spaces“.
Rosa Cardona: “All our lives, it has been said that a path was going to be made and now it turns out that it will not happen”
The response surprised the PP representative, who acknowledged she was learning at that very moment that Costas had rejected any proposal such as the coast path, saying that “all our lives, it had been said that there was going to be a coastal path” and she asked everyone present if they knew that “now it is not going to happen“, stressing that this was breaking news to them.
Oscar Antón, also from the PP, intervened, recalling that while he was in government with José Chulvi, both he and the mayor had spoken with Costas about the coast path project, which had apparently been accepted by Alicante but, like everything else at that time (2012-13), they had refused to finance it, since the country was mired in a serious economic crisis. With an estimated initial cost of 200,000 euros, the project would have created a gravel path lined with wooden borders which would have also served to have limited the space occupied by the beach bars.
Chulvi: “They want to empty the sections that have been artificially filled”
Chulvi immediately defused Antón’s argument, forgetting all his announcements regarding the ideas competition and demands on his party in Madrid (which he was not in office) and claimed that Costas wants to intervene. “At the time we (the Council) removed the cars, many of the sections of the Primer Montañar have been filled, they are artificial, so their proposal is to empty them and return the coast to its initial state”. He stressed that all the proposals of Costas are “only to recover, not to put“.
This claim from the mayor would make sense in view of the actions of the Provincial Headquarters in approving the removal of all the artificial elements from the area in the Cala del Ministro which has recently seen the demolishing of bridges and concrete walls to leave the zone clear and free of artificial obstacles.
Is this the future that awaits us for the Primer Montañar whose central part has produced a great detachment of the earth and the rock?
For another story, it will be in which episode will the two main inappropriate elements of the stretch of coast be addressed: the two beach bars. A month ago, XAD asked the Ministry of Ecological Transition about one of them and is still awaiting an answer.
Click below to read the original article in Spanish on Xàbia AL DÍA