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The AHSA association which looks after the interests of the wetlands of the Southern Alicante area, along with the Southeast naturalists association ANSE, and ASE friends of Sierra de Escalona, have collectively presented arguments this week against the building of a new DIY store on the protected land of Torrevieja´s salt lakes.

One of the primary concerns of the environmentalists is that building on the area would seriously damage the colony of Audouin´s gulls which reside in the salt lake grounds, a species of Worldwide importance and with a “near threatened” status by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, thus considered threatened with extinction in the near future.

In August of last year we reported how the Mayor of Torrevieja, Eduardo Dolón, had overseen the reclassification of land near the salt factory, to enable the construction of a new 32,000 square metre DIY retail store. The multinational Kingfisher Group, which includes B&Q and ScrewFix, amongst the 6 brands they represent, plans to build a Brico Depot store on the plot near the cemetery, on the west side of the N332, to compliment their store already thriving in Elche, despite the site being centric to other DIY stores, such as Brico King (previously named Ardy), who have already struggled since the opening of Akí in the Habaneras centre, who in turn have suffered since Leroy Merlin opened at Zenia Boulevard.

The plans were also met at the time with objection from the small and medium business associations of Torrevieja, who have seen years of declining trade, firstly due to the construction of the Habaneras centre and its surrounding businesses, then by the Zenia Boulevard, which had a similar affect of Habaneras.

The environmental groups are opposed to further urbanizing of the perimeter of protection gaps of the Natural Park of La Mata and Torrevieja, given that it is one of the most natural areas hit by the urban pressures of the human population explosion.

They also consider the proposed development as not compatible with the conservation of environmental values established in Plan de Ordenación de Recursos Naturales of the natural park.

Because of the rich environmental values of this area, the site is considered of major interest to the Audouin’s Gull, a protected and vulnerable species, and plays host to the second most important breeding colony for this species worldwide. As a result, the groups will demand an environmental impact study be carried out and published, as is required by law.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45290/

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