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The new General Plan of Benitatxell will create an ecological corridor to link the Montgó with Bèrnia

Jan 12th
The new General Structural Plan of El Poble Nou de Benitatxell has been revealed as an instrument of strategic planning for the sustainable development of the Marina Alta according to the new editorial team led by the architect Alberto Morera. The key geographical situation of the municipality makes it a nexus of connection of natural areas of great importance, such as the natural park of Montgó, the cliffs (protected with the LIC Penya-segats de la Marina), the Serra de Bèrnia and the natural and rural areas of the interior of the region. The plan will create an ecological corridor that will connect the Montgó, the Garganta de Gata and the Serra de Bèrnia. In addition, it will preserve the agricultural landscape (it will also promote the recovery of this economic activity) and will protect the coastal front through a network of public viewpoints. From : La Marina Plaza

New outbreak of Xylella detected in Benissa, Gata, Xaló, Parcent and Llíber

Jan 1st
The Ministry of Agriculture and Environment has declared the existence of a fifth outbreak of the pest Xylella fastidiosa in the Valencian Community. This one affects the Marina Alta, which has adopted urgent phytosanitary measures for eradication and control. From: La Marina Plaza. To date, no known curative treatment can prevent the disease; the progressive spread of the pathogen can only be contained. Investigators are testing for the bacterium widely, and trees found to be infected have been burned and destroyed to halt the disease’s propagation. See: Access science for more details.

International protection for the whale and porpoise corridor near the Marina Alta Coast

Jan 1st
The 20th Conference of the Parties (COP 20) of the Barcelona Convention (Conference of coastal countries responsible for protecting the Mediterranean) held in Tirana (Albania) declared the area off the Marina Alta coastline as a Specially Protected Area of ​​Importance for the Mediterranean (ZEPIM). This measure affects more than 46,000 square kilometers between the coasts of the Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia -to the south of which is the Marina Alta. Oil prospecting that was threatening the Gulf of València a while ago and now will no longer be possible because the Mediterranean cetacean corridor will have international protection, as with similar corridors of other seas and oceans of the planet. A direct consequence of this international protection is that the Ministry of Energy must file all projects and applications for hydrocarbon exploration and research permits that affect this protected area. The Government must now put into practice the agreement ratified in Tirana by issuing a decree declaring the Marine Protected Area. From La Marina Plaza

Marina Alta to receive 3 million for sustainable projects

Dec 12th
The Provincial Council of Alicante wants to allocate for the municipalities of the region a total of 2,993,984 euros from the Municipal Cooperation Fund. The distribution of these grants will benefit mainly the smaller municipalities. Taking into account the number of inhabitantsto give more support to smaller towns. Another criterion will be the area of ​​the municipality, since "it is a determining factor in the maintenance of important aspects such as public roads and drinking water networks". Population density is another criterion. With these criteria, municipalities that do not exceed 500 inhabitants such as Benigembla, Castell de Castells or Murla will receive 73,352 euros, 88,592 euros and 68,888, respectively. Other localities near 5,000 inhabitants like Gata de Gorgos, El Verger and Poble Nou de Benitatxell will have 97,475 euros, 87,090 euros and 89,624 euros respectively. From: Las Provincias

New-build home values rise to 'pre-crisis levels'

Jan 5th
New build residential property rose in value in 2017 by more than any time in the last decade, according to the Surveyors' Society, with major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona seeing prices reach pre-financial crisis levels. A typical 90-square-metre property in a provincial capital city, which is likely to be a three-bedroom apartment, would now cost an average of €200,400, having increased in value by around 5% this year – or €2,227 per square metre. The Surveyors' Society says these increases in value for newly-constructed homes have not been seen since 2007, when property prices hit highs never seen before or since and just over a year before the economic crisis struck. For full story see: ThinkSpain

Foreign tourist spending in Spain up 12.9% in 2017

Jan 5th
Tourists visiting Spain shelled out far more cash in 2017 than the previous year, even though Catalunya's disputed independence referendum saw spending fall in the autumn. Year-on-year growth, as at the end of November, was around 12.9%, and for that month, holidaymakers spent 10.3% more in Spain than they did in November 2016. According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in 2017 – excluding December, for which figures are not yet available – visitors parted with a total of €82.3 billion whilst on holiday in Spain. In November alone, they spent €4.64bn. For full story see: ThinkSpain

Xàbia to seek EU funds to convert the civil war air raid shelter in the port into a museum

December 27th
The Town Council has aggreed a request for a grant from the European Regional Development Fund Program (Feder) of the Valencian Region 2014-2020. (Aid for the protection, conservation and recovery of assets of Valencian cultural heritage.) to rehabilitate and convert the 1938 air raid shelter in the Port into a museum. According to the municipal archaeologist, Ximo Bolufer, "the intention is that people can visit it and learn a little more about the years of the Civil War, especially how the residents of Xàbia passed that period. ." The enclosure was sealed more than 40 years ago. The refuge is about 30 square metres, divided into two galleries. The outer gallery of approximately 12 square metres, would be renovated to accommodate public visits. The second area is more deteriorated. Bolufer states that it is not even finished, "the war ended before it was finalized." The years they have taken a toll and technicians can not yet determine if it could be restored. According to the archaeologist, "there are water leaks, a study is needed to determine what can be done there." The Museum project has not yet been drawn up, it could just be an audio/visual display. The important thing is to secure the funding first, since the concrete slab sealing the enclosure is at risk of collapse. Basic refurbishment would cost an estimated €100,000 - €110,000 which would be 50% co-financed by the Town Hall. Bolufer added: "there are other historical buildings in the town but the budget that would be needed is much higher. You can not allocate so much money from the municipal coffers to these improvements ». From: Las Provincias

Arenal social centre moves next to Tourist office

Dec 27th
The Civic Punt del Arenal social centre, an initiative developed by the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia almost five years ago to energise the community in the area, has changed its location from Jávea Park to a new municipal premises in Calle Saint Tropez next to the Tourist Info Office in Avenida del Pla. In addition to being a social centre for children, the Cívic Punt acts as an administration office which aims to create a sense of community where residents of the area can meet and have their concerns heard, particularly by councillor Pilar Zamora, the area representative, who attends the office on a weekly basis. For full story see: Javeamigos.

Old Town businesses pessimistic about Christmas

Dec 1st
The Association of Merchants of Historical Xàbia is not very positive about the expectations for the Christmas campaign this year. In fact, its president, Juan Planelles, predicted yesterday that it will be "terrible".
Planelles based his claim on November data, which he said, "reflect bad sales, something that ise common in the old town." According to him, close to 50% of the houses and business premises in this part of the town are empty. According to Planelles "we have to fix the historic centre so that people want to come, both to start a business to buy in these places, and to live in the neighborhood." From Las Provincias

New Triana Bridge work to start in the Spring

Dec 1st
After having completed all the administrative hurdles a new bridge is to be built to replace the one over the Rio Gorgos in the port area which was damaged in the 2007 floods. The damages were assessed in 2014 when the Town Hall paid for a technical study which analysed the state of the bridge and recommended demolishing it and rebuilding it completely. The new bridge will be wider, and in addition, will have pavements providing pedestrian continuity to Marina Española. The work will last about three months but the traffic will only need to be diverted for a month since part of the work can be compatible with the circulation of cars.

Students collect rubbish from along the coast

Dec 1st
The Club Náutico de Jávea, in collaboration with the Fundación Ecomar and Fundación de Oceanográfico, invited children from the fifth and sixth grade at CEIP Port de Xàbia to a special clean-up day along the coast of Xàbia. Collecting rubbish in different point around the port area of the town, the educational activity helped the kids to learn about waste separation to deposit it into the different containers - yellow for packaging, green for glass, blue for paper and cardboard and grey for organic rubbish. Guided by staff from the yacht club and the two foundations, the schoolchildren and their teachers covered the area along the harbour wall to the red lighthouse, the landing zone alongside the fish market and the area of the Paseo Marina Española close to the mouth of the river Gorgos. They collected more than 150 kilograms of rubbish, placing it in separate bags according to the container into which it was to be thrown. For full story see: Javeamigos

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