A concrete structure about 30 meters long, a meter and a half wide and half a meter high was illegally built in recent days in the core of the Farol of the island of Culatra, in plain sight, a few steps from the Ria Formosa, in the heart of the Natural Park.
The structure was built, without asking anyone's permission and therefore illegally, next to a house located very close to the floating pier of the core of the Farol. Still, there doesn't seem to have been major concerns about hiding the work, as even formworks were used, as well as a large amount of concrete, which implied transporting material to the island.
No Farol, everyone talks about the work, which was made for all to see, but no one seems to know – or mean – who its author was. O Sul Informação he knows that when some houses were demolished in that area, as part of the renaturalization intervention promoted by the Polis Ria Formosa, a row of rubbish and rubble that was in the same area was also removed. This pile of rubble was considered by the inhabitants of that area as a kind of rockfill for the protection of the houses. Since its retreat, people have unsuccessfully asked for a protective wall to be built there.
This is, at bottom, a situation similar to what happened in 2013, when the population of Culatra decided to build a helipad, without anyone's permission. The helipad is still there, six years after it was built, and it remains as illegal as it started.
Although the construction of the concrete wall took place in a very visible area of the island, the competent authorities, contacted by our newspaper, claim to know nothing.
Contacted yesterday afternoon at Sul Informação, Castelão Rodrigues, Algarve regional director of the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF), said he was not yet aware of the situation.
The same person in charge assured that, at least since he took office, in May, there has been no request for the licensing of a work of this nature in the nucleus of the Farol.
Without requesting authorization from the ICNF, which oversees the Ria Formosa Natural Park, it is not possible to proceed with any type of intervention on the barrier islands. And, in this case, if authorization had been requested, it is doubtful that it would have been given, given the type of work done.
However, Castelão Rodrigues added that, as this is an area "where the Sotavento Coastal Ordinary Plan (POOC) is applied", the jurisdiction "is of the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA)".
O Sul Informação he also spoke with José Pacheco, director of the APA in the Algarve, who, although he did not know how to give information about this specific case, as he was out of service due to health reasons, he advised to contact… the ICNF, as it is “an island -barrier".
The director of the APA says that the ICNF, already aware of the matter - through our newspaper -, "will officiate and we will take this into consideration".
O Sul Informação I also wanted to know who paid for this work, which would have cost hundreds, if not thousands of euros. But, without knowing who made it, it is also impossible to know who paid for it.
Our newspaper, on the advice of José Pacheco, asked the APA regional services for further clarification. A source from this entity said that "only very recently" has the Portuguese Environment Agency "been aware of the construction" and that "it is still unknown who its author is". "The services will assess the situation," guaranteed the same source.
However, right on the edge of the estuary, in an area influenced by the tides, very close to the end of the island of Culatra, there is, for those who want to see it, this concrete wall, apparently built...by the work and grace of the Holy Spirit.
Photos: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação