WWF wins Supreme Court victory on ‘Las Aletas’ marsh

Aletas de Puerto Real development project, shuttered by Spain's Supreme Court ruling. Photo: Diario de Cádiz
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• Plan for Cádiz industrial park ‘illegal’, would ‘irreversibly’ harm marshland
• Court forced to rule second time, following Rajoy government decree in 2015

After a 10-year battle in Spain’s courts, WWF España (WWF Spain – World Wildlife Fund for Nature) has won a landmark ruling from the country’s Supreme Court blocking plans by Spain’s federal government and Andalucia regional government to build an industrial park on the site of the Las Aletas wetlands ecological preserve in Puerto Real, near Cádiz.

The ruling marks the second time that the Supreme Court has stepped in and quashed plans for the Las Aletas de Puerto Real industrial project, this time knocking back a February 2015 agreement by the Council of Ministers of Spain’s conservative Partido Popular (PP) government of President Mariano Rajoy. That agreement decreed the Las Aletas marshlands within the public domain for a period of 75 years and therefore subject to designation as an area of strategic importance for development of the logistics infrastructure of the neighbouring port.

The Fifth Section of the high court’s Administrative Court ruled against the government decree, saying that the use of the marshlands would not only be illegal, but would endanger the integrity of the land and “irreversibly” destroy the Las Aletas marsh. The Supreme Court similarly ruled against plans to develop the marsh in 2009, but was forced to again consider the case following the Council of Ministers decree of 2015.

► Read More in Spanish at Diario de Cádiz and Ecoticias …

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