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Parres livestock herdsmen (Ganaderos Unidos) demand a public debate to define the Council's Urban Plan

demand the resignation of part of the municipal corporation if it maintains the Palácio de Nevares agreement and its contempt for the rural area

want politicians to explain why the document was approved

June 6, 2009 -- EVA Sanromá | Arriondas


The herdsmen will fight to the end for what they consider fair and beneficial to all citizens who form the council of Parres. There are no special interests, nor obsessions - only seeking "the good of the council and, especially, continuity of rural areas."

Thus, the new Ganaderos Unidos association will convene a
"public debate or an open council" to deal with two large questions. On the one hand they want political representatives of the City Council to provide explanations of why they released, with one voice, a General Urban Plan even though municipal technical reports advised against it.

On the other hand, they want
"citizens, groups and associations to have both a voice and a vote at the time of proposing planning regulations to the council, and to bring their vision of how planning regulations should be designed to govern the growth of the municipal council in the coming years."

That is, in their view, to debate
"democratically" the Parres municipality's Urban Plan.

Yesterday, at a press conference aimed at taking stock of developments since the urban plan’s initial approval last February, the livestock association members told us of their association’s peaceful demonstration with Parres citizens and of the Parres Councillors’ subsequent - and again unanimous - backing away from the February Plan.

And, in general terms, says the group, they want the Parres Council to explain why they proceeded
"to approve the Plan unanimously contrary to technical reports, leaving the parres municipal corporation’s integrity and credibility in doubt."


But now they fear that the reform, which would become the urbanisation norm, won't go the point where it affects what are for them the key issues of the general plan; so, if what follows is the same form of marginalizing the rural areas and a continuation of moving forward with the Nevares project (where there would be a golf course, 120 houses and a de luxe hotel situated in the rehabilitated Palácio), they "would ask for the resignation of the alcalde (PSOE), the councillor for urbanization (IU), the lieutenant alcalde (IU) and the opposition leader (PP)."

They justify their position because they believe that, first, the Nevares agreement
"undermines the public interest by breaking urban and regional planning
regulations, causing a serious impact on natural heritage and the landscape."

Moreover, they continue,
"it is a serious discrimination that the rest of the council cannot be developed." For this reason, they consider it "an insult to the intelligence of Parres citizens that the corporation approved the Plan which classifies as ‘agricultural’ or ‘special protection’ almost the entire surface of the rural Parres municipality.

Indeed, as the association recalled yesterday,
"the Plan limits the construction of houses in agricultural soils, with the possibility of losing house registration once livestock raising disappears." On the other hand, the association stressed, "the Plan classifies almost all the plains along the River Sella, the River Piloña,and various waterways as flood-prone. The result is that those territories would be ‘non-buildable." Given this statement of the facts yesterday, the Parres councilman responsible for Urbanization justified the municipal corporation’s position saying "it is never possible to please everyone."


However, the livestock herder’s association noted,
"some council members have been expressing their intention to explain publicly the reasons for the approval of the Palácio de Nevares project." And as United Ganaderos understands the uneasiness of these elected officials', they offer them the opportunity to "explain in depth about their actions in the proposed ‘Concejo Abierto.’ And this debate - the date, place and rules of discourse will be "agreed by the parties, with a view to guarantee an interchange that at times won’t be unanimous, but must be civilized."

But until that day comes, the group already has a conclusion to this story. They believe that
"the loss of prestige of the Parres corporation spills out of its boundaries converting itself into an object of derision of Asturias."

Ganaderos Unidos believe that
"it is incompatible with the dignity of the municipal institution that those responsible for this accumulation of miscalculations remain in their decision making posts." United Ganaderos of Parres says that "many Parres citizens already do not feel adequately represented in the Council and demand that a period of reflection and self-criticism would open within the ‘heart’ of the parties, as well as a "reform of their spokespersons." Nevertheless, they clarified that the resignations will still be demanded if, when the regulations are reformed, there are still the same key points within the planning document which aroused the controversy among the Parres citizens.

For now, Ganaderos Unidos proposed a plan in which neighbors and politicians together can
"explain, in open council, the model of urban development and spatial planning that Parres needs.”