Permission for the resort was signed off last week by Pires de Lima and a secretary of state acting for Agriculture Minister Assunção Cristas.
The project lies between Vilamoura Marina and Açoteias, Albufeira and side-steps normal planning requirements as it has been deemed of “relevant public interest” by the government.
The project envisages 3,000 beds in villas, hotels and apartments in a lagoon setting on what currently is farmland which will be dug out and flooded to provide watery views from much of the accommodation, 300 units of which will have their own berths. An inevitable shopping area is planned around the main lake.
Almargem (eco-group) says this action will adversely affect one of the most important wetlands of the Central Coast of the Algarve, which few can dispute.
The project calls for the diversion of a river, the construction of a dam for flood protection and an awkward crane system for transferring boats between the existing Vilamoura marina and the new lagoons.
Cidade Lacustre is planned to include the usual environmental sops for wildlife and habitat, and the preservation and protection of the Roman ruins at Cerro da Vila.
The whole ‘sea world’ type project was dreamt up by Vilamoura developer André Jordan in 1999 when he was involved with Lusotur which owned the Vilamoura resort area.