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Concrete construction on Porto beach is ‘unacceptable’ and needs to be demolished

The minister of Environment and Climate Action said this Monday that the concrete structure built on the sand of Praia do Ourigo, in Porto, “is unacceptable” and “now it’s about getting it out of there”.

João Pedro Matos Fernandes defended that “that construction is unacceptable” and admitted that “the Ministry of Environment and its administrative structures were also bad in this process”.

“I can’t understand how, at a time of climate change, anyone thinks they can promote and license that structure there,” he said, adding that “now it’s about getting it out of there.”

The government official was speaking to journalists today, after having given a lesson in wisdom at the solemn session at the beginning of the academic year at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto, on the theme “Sustainability: investing in the present”.

The responsibility for that work belongs to the Portuguese Environment Agency, the person responsible for the project had already stated in July, and he emphasized it again today.

As it is a concrete structure, the beach support in question generated a wave of protest, having led various political forces to request the embargo of the work and the APA, on June 7, to order the suspension and ordering of the demolition of the equipment. .

The General Inspection of the Sea, Environment and Spatial Planning (IGAMAOT) filed the inquiry (opened by order of the Minister of the Environment) on the actions of the entities involved in the approval of the controversial work in Praia do Ourigo, considering that the APA triggered procedures tending to the restoration of legality.

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The document points out inconsistencies in the performance of the Administration of the North Hydrographic Region (ARHN) and argues that the Administration of the Ports of Douro, Leixões and Viana do Castelo (APDL), which granted the space for 20 years, could not have done so.

IGAMAOT says that there is still no evidence that the ARHN, within the scope of the municipality’s prior control procedure, has carried out an assessment of the proposed constructive solution of a fixed and permanent nature.

He also adds that this information, unlike the first in a negative sense, “omits any reference to the Land Use Plan for the Caminha-Espinho Coastline (POOC-CE), raised at first and which, in 2016, was under preparation.

On the other hand, IGAMAOT considers that, even though the site is not subject to the POOC-CE requirements, the beach support in question “could not be admitted, as it is located in a potential area of ​​natural hazards”, as such recognized by the APA , in the opinion of May this year, which proposed the revocation of the favorable opinion conditioned by it issued in 2017.

The report also states that the company MGM, which was granted, in 2019, the license to expand the bar at Praia do Ourigo, in Porto, of which it was the concessionaire, was declared insolvent in 2015, a fact that imposed the expiry of the concession.

In a statement, on May 31, the promoter, who intended to build a ‘Beach Club’ on Praia do Ourigo, located near the mouth of the Douro river, warned that “if the aforementioned revoking purpose is fulfilled, it will constitute cause of incalculable material and reputational damage that those responsible for it will necessarily have to bear”.

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In addition to IGAMAOT, APA opened an internal investigation.

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