Vale Da Telha Plan Ready For Public Consultation

By John Bergstrom-Potter, Amovate President, and Ian Bedford, Amovate Secretary.
(Text written by Matt D’Arcy)


VDT PlanThe future of Vale Da Telha could include a permanent population of 5,000-plus and a summer population of 20-25,000.

If you bear in mind that the current resident population here up the hill is close to the 2,000 mark, with up to 6,000 summer visitors staying in the area, this represents a huge increase in the numbers of residents and visitors.

Also, according to the 2011 census, just 5,884 people currently live in the entire municipality of Aljezur from Carrapateira in the south to Odeceixe in the north.

So, if the projected figures turn out to be accurate it means more people will be living in the Vale da Telha area than in the town of Aljezur itself!

And it is said that all along the west coast from Vila Nova de Milfontes down to the Cape no other area will grow as big and as fast as Vale da Telha over the next two or three decades.

These possible increases in residents and visitors are suggested by the Câmara, as the plans for this area on the West Coast of the Algarve are nearing the stage where discussions end, and development work begins on what could become a major European centre for eco-tourism.

And that means that—within 15 years—the new-found importance of Vale da Telha could project Aljezur from being a sleepy little town on the Algarve’s west coast to becoming a significant player in the political, economic and touristic life of the region.

This is all becoming clear after the President of the Câmara, José Amarelinho, met with Dr Célia Ramos, Secretary of State for Regional Planning and Nature Conservation.

The meeting took place on Tuesday January 16, and mayor Amarelinho took the opportunity to brief the new member of the Government on the problems of Vale da Telha as well as bringing her up to date with all the work done here so far.

(It should be noted that the CCDR-Algarve (Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Algarve or the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development of the Algarve), under paragraph 2 of article 86 of Decree-Law 80/2015, of May 14, has been so far, officially monitoring the preparation of the important land management for this urban area).

The Câmara is now waiting for the opinions of the CCDR-Algarve and any recommendations of the recently created National Land Commission. After this the proposed plan can be closed and then the presentation be submitted and public consultation will take place.

The Câmara says people must remember this is a very complex work which has suffered huge setbacks. But for the first time it is being prepared in a concerted and co-ordinated manner among the various organisations.

They go on: “As the Câmara has always affirmed, the natural and scenic heritage of the area will be valued. This plan will improve and rehabilitate the area, safeguarding and defending the acquired right of property owners and urban plots/houses whilst also providing an area dedicated for tourism with the emphasis on nature tourism.”

The public consultation mentioned—hopefully in about six months’ time—will be for a 30-day period before the plan goes back to the Government for final discussion and implementation.

The Câmara is anxious that everything is in place for initial works to begin at the start of next year, 2017, and they would like to see a significant turnaround of Vale da Telha happen quickly, with major leaps forward within four years.

The plan says that any project in place will stay in place. If a plot currently has planning permission then building will be allowed to take place, although it is possible some size restrictions could take place if a proposed dwelling is considered too big, or too high.

Any proposed projects that are earmarked for recreational or tourist use—hotels for example—will be allowed to go ahead.

An earlier suggestion that building would only be allowed on alternate plots will not now take effect, and any building work already started will be permitted to finish.

The disused campsite, something of an eyesore, will be demolished and earmarked for further development.

The Government and the Câmara will strictly adhere to EEC regulations (based on an American model) not allowing any individual or business to buy up large plots or tracts of land to develop huge complexes. Everything will be done on a small, low-impact scale.

New buildings will be allowed to have fossas. But as they are installed they must include attachments to allow them to one day be linked directly to a new network of mains sewerage that will be installed throughout the area.

All existing houses will eventually have to be connected to this network, with the costs of connection being borne by the householder. The plan for the area involves locating all the services below ground with no cables and wires in view.

It is thought unlikely the fibre-optic broadband facilities will arrive here in the near future but there are high hopes for the widespread provision of Wi-Fi services.

The only caveat to the entire plan for the Vale Da Telha area is that the entire project must be completed within 15 years of commencement (probably 2017) otherwise the Government says it will not happen.

If those projected population figures are attained it goes without saying that an enormous amount of new businesses will be generated in and around Vale da Telha, hopefully leading to many of the unoccupied shop premises at the commercial centre finally being rented out.

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Join Amovate and play an important role in the future development of Vale Da Telha!

A fund is to be set up by the Government where people can invest money in the overall project. That cash, which will also include funds from central government, will be spent ONLY on work being done in Vale da Telha.

The Government says administering the scheme will involve three parties—the Government itself, the Aljezur Camara, and an organisation representing the residents of Vale Da Telha.

That is expected to be Amovate, or ultimately it could be that we form our own Junta up here, giving us some degree of self-determination and the right to have our own services, including a Post Office.

Either way, we will have a say in whatever future developments take place in our own immediate area.

So, if you feel the people here should have a big say in the future direction of Vale da Telha then come and join the organisation that represents the people of Vale da Telha, so we can all speak with one voice.

We need to keep our membership growing so we have an even louder voice in the community, which makes it more possible for us to get things done.

It is in the interests of us all to increase the levels of our membership numbers and retain that strength-through-numbers ethos that has raised our profile in the area.

To that effect we would like to ask all members and former members to please renew their annual subscriptions and help us to continue making a difference to our Community.

And if you have never been a member, then please think about joining us and playing your part in making Vale da Telha and the surrounding areas an even better place to live.

You can do this by:

………clicking on the Membership form below, to download your form.  Alternatively, if you are unable to print the form, you can collect one from the Amovate office.  Once completed and handed in to the office, your Membership card will be ready for collection in a few days.

Existing Members who wish to renew can hand their old Membership Card in to the office (Fridays 4pm -5pm) or to a Committee Member, with the appropriate fee and their new card will be ready for collection in a couple of days.

Please note that Membership fees are as follows:

Dual Membership (Member & Partner) – €20

Single Membership – £10

Thank you for your support.



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