Ria de Alvor: RECAPE of the Quinta da Rocha project is in public consultation

Until the 27th of January, this report is in public consultation, which intends to respond to the conditioned assent

Project preview for Quinta da Rocha – some of the houses (Source: https://www.fundovega.com/index.php/pt/)

The Technical Report of the Environmental Compliance Report (RECAPE) of the “Project of the Tourism in Rural Space (TER) – Quinta da Rocha”, in the Ria de Alvor, is in public consultation, for 15 working days, from 9 to 27 of January, on the website of CCDR Algarve and Participate Portal.

The project had been submitted to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure, in the Preliminary Study phase, with an Environmental Impact Statement (DIA) having been issued, with a conditional assent, on 22 November 2019.

The Rural Tourism project is promoted by the company Water View SA, current owner of Quinta da Rocha, located on the peninsula in the heart of the Ria de Alvor.

Unlike a megalomaniac project that had been presented a decade and a half ago, when the owner was the businessman Aprígio Santos, this time, the area covered by the project does not include the entire 199,168 hectares of Quinta da Rocha, «but only the land of higher level, which do not include wetlands or marshes». That is, the most sensitive areas from an environmental point of view will not be touched.

The project whose RECAPE is now in public consultation foresees an investment of around 6.5 million euros and intends to implement a Tourism in Rural Space enterprise, which will include a Rural Hotel, with 12 rooms, and 9 units of Country Houses in a total number of 64 beds.

«The buildings are dispersed throughout the property, grouped into about 10 nuclei, in a total of 18 buildings, with a gross construction area of ​​3.238 m², spread over an area of ​​199,168ha», can be read in the Base Report.

The project «does not foresee the expansion of built-up areas, but only the recovery and use of pre-existing buildings», guarantees in that document.

In fact, in most cases, the buildings that already exist on the land are in ruins and, for their reconstruction, it is proposed “the maintenance of the constructive details and characteristic elements of the existing traditional architecture”.

«Thus, spread over the vast property land, the houses will have typologies T1 to T6, with accommodation always in suite, kitchen, a living and dining area, an outdoor solarium area and in some cases a swimming pool. Despite the homogeneity in terms of functions, architectural style and decoration, the restrictions described above will layouts different».


Project preview for Quinta da Rocha – the rural hotel


The Hotel-Rural, which should have a 5 star category, will be created through the alteration of an existing building with 830,50 square meters, which is “in a reasonable state of conservation”.

There are 10 double rooms and two suites with direct access from the outside through a private porch area.

There will also be support equipment in existing buildings that complement the activity, namely a warehouse and support for the farm, with 141,00 m², as well as warehouses to support tourist activity with 358,00 m².

RECAPE admits that Quinta da Rocha is home to relevant values, namely two plants classified in Annex II of the Habitats Directive: thymus camphoratus e algarvian linaria.

In places where these two species occur, the document proposes the following types of intervention: for thyme thymus camphoratus «the site must be marked and weeds must not be cut as part of the current management of Quinta da Rocha».

"Being thymus camphoratus a camephyte, it is natural that, with the natural development of the vegetation, its density will decrease, to the detriment of larger bushes. For this reason, it would be important to regularly cut and reduce larger bushes. As will be understood, this intervention is sensitive and lacks solid technical preparation. Thus, it is suggested that the administration of Quinta da Rocha allow the entry of technicians from the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests or other entities with the technical capacity to carry out this task», stresses RECAPE.

With regard to algarvian linaria, it is suggested that, «every 5 years, the meadows and pastures where it occurs are subjected to the use of a mechanical scythe, without soil mobilization or turning. This procedure aims to avoid the development of weeds, not revolving the soil, in order not to bury the seeds. In this context, it should be noted that it is unknown whether Linaria algarviana seeds have dormancy and, therefore, it is not known whether they withstand being buried for several years».


The 9 houses and the rural hotel – preliminary project


RECAPE also includes a list of Conditions, Minimization Measures, as well as Environmental Monitoring and Accompaniment Programs.

In relation to the minimization measures for this phase of the Execution Project established by DIA, «from the analysis carried out, it is considered that, generally speaking, their compliance is guaranteed, having been, within the technical possibilities, the adjustments to the project that allowed the optimization of the same", argues the document.

From the work carried out under RECAPE, a set of additional measures is proposed. «The measures applicable to the construction phase are annexed to the Environmental Management Plan in order to ensure that they are respected by the contractor and thus minimize the environmental impacts foreseen for the construction phase».

Thus, «in view of the above, the options for the execution project, supported by the studies carried out at this stage, in the proposed measures to minimize the impact, along with the implementation of specific plans and projects, support the compliance of the Implementation Project with the established conditions at DIA», concludes RECAPE.

The company that proposes to build the enterprise of the “Turismo em Espaço Rural” typology in Quinta da Rocha, Water View SA, is nothing more, nothing less than the successor da Butwell – Trading, Services and Investments, which changed its name in 2016, after having been sentenced to pay a high fine and restore the natural values ​​that it destroyed over the years.

A Water View SA is currently owned by Fundo Vega, an investment fund that claims to bring together «high-quality real estate assets of various natures, especially in the fields of Tourism, Hospitality and Residential, integrated and structured by technical teams of specialists in the various phases and specifications of each project in order to guarantee the quality of your investment».

In early 2016, Butwell, then owned by businessman Aprígio Santos, saw rejected by the Portimão Chamber its project for the Tourist Development Center (NDT) of the Ria de Alvor.


Who wants participate in public discussion do RECAPE of the Quinta da Rocha Project, you should consult the documentation on Participate Portal and register there to follow the process and participate.


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