The biggest tourist complex in Europe has taken a major step forward with approvals granted last month. The Marina de Cope project is located between Mazarrón and Águilas, and will be a high-end tourism development on a scale not seen before in Spain. Everything about the Marina de Cope development is huge. The project´s price tag is put at four billion Euros and it will cover some 21 million square metres.
Environmentalists are opposed to the ambitious project but the Murcia regional government argues that it is an environmentally-friendly complex. The construction density will be extremely low as most of the actual land is being set aside for reserves and green areas. Nothing will be built on the coastline or within 500 metres of it, other than access to the inland marinas which will be via a series of lagoons.
The natural coastline will remain unchanged and this will be achieved by the use of a single canal which will give access into an inland network of moorings. It is forecast that there will be a total of 2,000 moorings available. By planning future development properly and including rigorous requirements as to zoning, supervision, re-cycling and waste disposal, the government can be sure that the highest standards are met.
Marina de Cope will also benefit from a tram service running north to south along the development thus reducing the need for vehicles and for parking areas. Easy motorway access is guaranteed via the new Vera motorway and Murcia's new airport at Corvera is expected to be only 30 or 40 minutes drive away when it opens in 2010.
The development will feature dozens of hotels and apartment-hotels which will provide about 20,000 rooms. In addition, there will be several residential developments which will see about 9,000 homes built.
Sports and leisure will be at the heart of the development, with five 18 hole golf courses, 10 football pitches, a cycle track and 10 zones for tennis and other sports. Cricket fans will be pleased to hear that a complex for their sport is on the drawing board and there is even talk of the construction of a luxury polo facility.
The Marina de Cope development project comes under the responsibility of Lorca and Águilas and last month local councilors voted in favour of the project, allowing planning and other works to move ahead. The regional government says that Marina de Cope is the major tourism project of Murcia and that it will significantly contribute to developing economic activity throughout the region. A left-wing opponent, however, has described the go ahead decision as another step in the destruction of the last remaining areas of virgin coastline in the Mediterranean.
The project has been designed by major international firms with extensive experience around the world of preparing high-quality low-impact developments. For more information please visit the following links:
Murcia starts Europe´s largest Tourism Development (April 3rd, 2006)
Property investors are focused on Murcia (August 20th, 2006)
Marina de Cope - Europe’s Largest Tourist Resort (August 20th, 2006)
Marina De Cope gets the thumbs up! (April 6th, 2007)