Sand & Lime, the El Pajar dilemma: Extra tourism amenities for the south, or safety of an vital trade and an genuine neighborhood historical past : The Canary


Within the newest version of a program, writes Ivan Suarez of CanariasAhora, directed and offered by the journalist Carlos Sosa entitled Informe Trópico, the totally different positions within the debate across the enclave’s future are analysed, exploring the arguments for persevering with to dedicate El Pajar, within the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, to industrial exercise, a spot seen from the Fishing City of Arguineguín on boundary with the municipality of Mogán that continues to be one of many few coastal territories on the south of the island to nonetheless stay virtually completely untouched by tourism.

private port concession

El Pajar Cement Works © Bård Ove Myhr

There’s a deadline coming earlier than which the Authorities of the Canary Islands should subject an opinion, primarily based on work being carried out by a Ministries of Public Works, Tourism and Ecological Transition fee, following greater than a yr of conferences between all of the events. The conclusions will probably be made public, however they won’t be legally binding. Ceisa needs to stay in El Pajar “for as a few years as the corporate deems” acceptable on the land it owns, categorised as city for industrial use, the place the manufacturing unit is situated. In doing so the corporate additionally aspires to keep up the port concession that, in keeping with Claudio Piernavieja, common coordinator of the corporate, which “was constructed by the corporate itself within the Nineteen Fifties”.

Piernavieja explains that the exercise of the cement firm, devoted “to mixing stone to make the cement that the Canary Islands want”, relies on three pillars: the quarry, two kilometres from El Pajar, the manufacturing unit and the port. “The dock is absolutely built-in into the manufacturing unit and if we lose the concession, we’d lose one of many three elementary pillars. The implication can be having to move uncooked supplies going to the manufacturing unit through the freeway, coming into and leaving by one other port. This is able to imply placing round 100 vehicles a day on the southern freeway, which additionally implies about 3,000 tons of CO2 a yr,” says the Ceisa coordinator, stating that the corporate is at the moment answerable for sustaining the dock and paying the corresponding charges.

Supporting the continuation of the cement manufacturing unit is a neighbourhood platform named Saving the Bay of Santa Águeda, who need them to stay in El Pajar and that its concession on the dock be prolonged as a result of, they are saying, in all of the years they’ve been there we have now coexisted with out issues, and if the manufacturing unit strikes to a different space, the members of the neighbourhood enclave are involved by the massive variety of adjustments that can possible happen in order that the realm can be utilized for tourism. “We wish to save the environment, the place we reside, to be left alone. We’re not in opposition to tourism, <it’s> welcome, there are extra jobs, however allow us to reside collectively. In order that the seashore at El Pajar could be for birdwatchers and for the complete Canary Islands, and never be like Pasito Blanco”, says one member referring to the gated neighborhood that was constructed with public funding however stays very a lot an space reserved for just some who reside there or use the harbour.

San Bartolomé de Tirajana’s first Mayoress, Conchi Narvaez

The mayor of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Concepción “Conchi” Narváez, additionally helps the cement firm for numerous causes “past enterprise, they’re extra centered on that particular contact, that soul of El Pajar, simply as it’s proper now, human worth. It’s a crucial piece that different locations wouldn’t have.” She considers the cement firm “a key a part of the municipality” and, particularly, “El Pajar has grown and developed hand in hand with the Particular Cements trade. There are generations which have labored on this trade. The bond and the feelings of nearly all of the residents of this municipality is regular.” she says

As well as, the mayor states that “it has been proven that the coexistence of trade and tourism is absolutely appropriate.” She factors out that in San Bartolomé de Tirajana already has “great accommodations, top-level vacationer areas, however the soul and essence that El Pajar has is tough for others to have; if Cementos Especiales decides to go away, it is going to be solely touristic”. Narváez additionally factors out that “vacationers are more and more demanding and usually are not simply on the lookout for a brand new seashore or good climate, a very good lodge or good lodging. In addition they search to be near Canarians, to study their customs and traditions. And El Pajar has that.”

An untapped tourism gem

Alternatively, Fernando del Castillo urges tourism reconversion of an unexploited space with nice potential. Even supposing the noble household owned the land that it ceded to the cement firm in 1957, and took part as shareholders, even having labored within the firm, the president of the CIT has led a motion for the corporate to go away El Pajar. “After 65 years, wherein the household put some land in concession for the corporate wherein it later participated, the situations are utterly totally different,” he justifies. He doesn’t need the concession to be renewed.

To do in any other case, “can be nonsense”, underlines Mister del Castillo, who’s interesting to the Authorities of the Canary Islands to make “a courageous choice in keeping with the present city planning that dictates this space ought to specialize in tourism”. Particularly, he asks the Govt not solely to withdraw the concession to Ceisa, but additionally to switch their enterprise to a different space. “{That a} harmonious switch could be agreed upon that advantages Gran Canaria. It might be going out by the entrance door and never in a long-term marathon race wherein the cement staff insist on persevering with with that mess for a few years,” he says.

Editor’s remark:

The noble Del Castillo household had been the first promotors of tourism on their lands throughout the south of the island, having performed a big function in civil and concrete growth for hundreds of years, their affect was additionally exercised within the port authority’s unique granting of the concession, and their lands then used to create the manufacturing unit, ceded to the corporate CIESA wherein they had been additionally shareholders.  Plainly two generations on and the heirs to the Del Castillo lands not want for his or her earlier investments in cement and aggregates, stone, sand and lime, extracted from their very own pure assets on these lands after which bought to the builders who initially purchased licences to construct all of the accommodations on this finish of the island,  to now hinder their future plans for the event of tourism.

Whereas the city planning paperwork might effectively designate these coastlines for tourism, what designation ought to be given to the individuals who reside and work in these coastal communities, within the industries from which tourism is made?  Ought to tourism be at their expense, ought to their neighborhood be protected or is change inevitable?

Photograph by Love Gran Canaria. El Pajar Seashore in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, simply subsequent to Arguineguín

The Cordial Inns & Resorts firm expects the port to be reconverted for leisure and leisure use, which is why it has already made important investments within the space. “We’ve invested greater than €50 million within the first section, with the Resort Cordial & Santa Águeda and the Perchel Seashore Membership”, explains Nicolás Villalobos, common supervisor of Cordial Canarias Inns & Resorts.

Villalobos makes clear that “the planners understood that every one this land reserve, that goes from Pasito Blanco to the mouth of the Arguineguín riverbed, needed to be specialised for tourism with the intention to proceed producing wealth and financial exercise.” And so, he assures, “it has been organized and decided within the planning devices”, that’s, “that on the expiration of the concession, the port ought to stop to have industrial use and grow to be leisure and leisure.”

The overall director for Cordial Canarias Inns & Resorts factors out that primarily based on the “authorized certainty that the administrations would implement the rule” concerning the usage of the dock, they’ve invested in what he considers “the perfect land by way of vacationer attraction on our island, proper on the border between two municipalities, between San Bartolomé de Tirajana and Mogán”. In truth, they anticipated the Authorities of the Canary Islands to withdraw the concession as of March 2020, which is why they went to court docket to attempt to pace up the method, which was rejected by the courts. “The concession has expired, the cement producers have been in a precarious scenario for greater than two years. It continues to function as a result of the Authorities of the Canary Islands, proprietor of the port infrastructure, has not exercised its proper and obligation to say what’s theirs”, he says.

Villalobos can be in favour of Ceisa shifting, though he clarifies that he’s not in opposition to the corporate “doing what they need” on land that they personal. “We don’t need the cement firm to go away Gran Canaria, we would like it to proceed, however in an industrial property, not embedded on this strip of the southern coast,” he provides. And he brings up what occurred when islanders within the capital protested to get the Colonial Insular Firm for Electrical energy and Irrigation (CICER) to “cease producing electrical energy on the sand of Las Canteras.” Utilizing the instance: “We would like electrical energy, however not in Las Canteras; we would like cement, however we don’t need it to be produced in any respect on our southern coastal strip”.

Proposals for the Santa Águeda wharf and its environment

Ceisa’s common coordinator explains that the corporate intends to enhance the environment of El Pajar with an funding of €10 million. On the one hand, it goals to enhance vitality effectivity, with photovoltaic panels, to provide 20-25% of the manufacturing unit’s vitality consumption. And, then again, it proposes extending the El Perchel promenade; with recreation and pure swimming pools within the western a part of the manufacturing unit; creating 200 parking areas and a semi-roundabout to ease mobility.

Santana insists that the mission is just not linked to the renewal of the concession, however to enhancing the setting, however he does imagine that the possession of the port concession ought to be renewed “as a result of it is a strategic trade for the Canary Islands.” As well as, he estimates that the permanence of the cement plant doesn’t exclude vacationer exercise. “This municipality is house to 3 financial sectors: agriculture and fishing, the cement trade, and tourism. We’ve lived in good concord, we don’t suppose it’s time so that you can <take away one in order to place one other>. The three financial sectors should be harmonised” he says.

Entrepreneurs within the tourism sector, nonetheless, seem to have a extra antagonistic imaginative and prescient. For Villalobos it might be an “illegal” choice, if the Authorities of the Canary Islands renews the concession to Ceisa, that may hurt the Cordial Inns & Resorts group as a result of they might not be capable of make their funding worthwhile. “We don’t wish to file a lawsuit in opposition to the Authorities of the Canary Islands and we hope that this port will probably be used within the common pursuits of the Canary Islands, dedicating itself to leisure use,” says Villalobos, however, in any other case, “we’d declare damages that the choice would trigger us.”

El Pajar bananas © 2019, Bård Ove Myhr

For this leisure and leisure use, there are two proposals on the desk: both a marina or a dock for cruise ships. Villalobos is in favour of the primary possibility, much like Puerto de Mogán, which “combines fishing boats with pleasure boats, being extra genuine”. And he additionally prefers that vacationers keep at Cordial Inns & Resorts lodging than on a cruise ship. However in any case, he believes that the choice should be agreed by a number of events.

Fernando del Castillo has made clear that the proposal to create a port for cruise ships is from the CIT. “We’ve made a most proposal from the financial perspective to revalue that location. At this time it’s a port for big ships, since this infrastructure may be used to accommodate cruise ships. That doesn’t imply it’s going to have that use,” he explains.

The mayor of San Bartolomé de Tirajana has been capable of examine the proposals and, though she finds “the thought of ​​making a sports activities or cruise ship dock engaging”, on the similar time she considers it “harmful to get rid of trade and get rid of one thing that has been a part of historical past”. From Ceisa’s method to enhancing the setting, Narváez claims that it’s “bold” and “it’s time”, as a result of after a few years of operation, it’s time to replace and modernise the setting”, in addition to aesthetically.

In any case, and regardless of the Authorities of the Canary Islands decides, Narváez believes that “the battle is not going to finish” and “the issue is not going to be closed, as a result of every group will proceed to combat till a last judgment is handed down for his or her place”, since each views “are official.”

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