Puerta Deportivo in Estepona is a bustling little port full of pleasure cruisers, yachts, catamarans and other smaller, private vessels. To entertain visitors there are plenty of bars, restaurants and cafés as well as shops for diving equipment, mobile phones, books and general supplies.
Had it not been for local intervention the now very popular open area between Havana Beach and Puerta Deportivo would now be a huge harbour catering for industrial ships and cruise liners. Thankfully the locals voted against.
What now looks like wasteland is a very busy spot that often acts as a temporary home to campers, travellers and fishermen, not to mention masses of Spanish families who turn up on weekends to enjoy the outdoors and some barbecued food.
The seafront is now hidden by huge concrete walls which form the foundations of the would-be harbour, while huge rocks have been dropped in the sea as defences against inclement weather. The land within is rough, dry soil which has overgrown with trees and weeds; a perfect place to park a campervan for a few days.
Had the harbour next to Puerta Deportivo been given the go ahead it would have brought massive pollution of nearby waters and had a detrimental effect on local wildlife, not to mention driven down value of properties nearby.
Thankfully the people charged with decision making on such issues saw sense and landscape is unspoilt by cranes, ships and cargo containers. The same decision making seems to be taking effect at nearby Tarifa where a hotel complex was approved but has now been rejected building permission. A petition was handed in with over 500,000 signatures in opposition to the needless housing and luxury hotel complex.
New laws have been brought in to stop developers building on the seafront in Spain and it seems that at last, the country is learning its lessons after years of criticism over money grabbing, corrupt deals that have brought about massive blight on the once beautiful coastlines of the Iberian Peninsula.
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