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Latest News

Madeleine McCann: German prisoner identified as new suspect in disappearance

Madeleine McCann: German prisoner identified as new suspect in disappearance

A 43-year-old German prisoner who travelled around Portugal in a camper van is now the focus of...

Algarve tourism experts predict 30% occupancy over this summer

Algarve tourism experts predict 30% occupancy over this summer

"Any dialogue you have with travel agents and hoteliers in the Algarve, if we think about June,...

Loulé Council shoots down Vilamoura lake city mega-project

Loulé Council shoots down Vilamoura lake city mega-project

The Environmental Impact Study of the lake city mega-project in Vilamoura has received an "unfavorable opinion" by...

‘Whoever enters Portugal should test negative’, defends local MP as tourism floodgates reopen

‘Whoever enters Portugal should test negative’, defends local MP as tourism floodgates reopen

Cristóvão Norte, an Algarvian MP for the Social Democratic Party (PSD) has defended that "there must be...

Arab sheik-owned Algarve hotel workers strike over lack of pay dating back to March

Arab sheik-owned Algarve hotel workers strike over lack of pay dating back to March

Local workers at the JJW Hotels Resorts Group, owned by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al...

Algarve orange producers see unexpected rise in business, safe from pandemic economic uncertainty

Algarve orange producers see unexpected rise in business, safe from pandemic economic uncertainty

The COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly benefited the Algarve citrus industry with an increase in demand and prices, which...

The show goes on as theatres and cinemas reopen warily across Portugal

The show goes on as theatres and cinemas reopen warily across Portugal

Theatres, cinemas and other cultural venues across the country got the go-ahead to reopen this Monday as...

‘High risk of widespread wildfires across Europe’ this year, says EU crisis commissioner

‘High risk of widespread wildfires across Europe’ this year, says EU crisis commissioner

The European Union expects dry weather to cause unusually widespread wildfires in Europe over the coming months,...

Latest Features

5 mistakes that are killing your Google Ads performance

5 mistakes that are killing your Google Ads performance

Google Ads is not the easiest platform to use, especially if you are a beginner. There are plenty of settings and options. And though...

Algarve voted best holiday destination this summer by travel experts

Algarve voted best holiday destination this summer by travel experts

A panel of travel experts at Clickstay.com has voted the Algarve as the best destination for British tourists this summer. 52% of the...

Is time running out for tax-free pension transfers?

Is time running out for tax-free pension transfers?

Understandably during this global health emergency, normal life has been paused while priorities have shifted. With all that’s been going on, it is easy...

Art and Photography news from the Algarve - June 2020

Art and Photography news from the Algarve - June 2020

Welcome to our June 2020 Newsletter. Another month has passed and things seem a little brighter here on the Algarve now. CLICK...

Gale's Virtual Westminster View – May 2020

Gale's Virtual Westminster View – May 2020

May. Too many Cummings but no Goings. Thousands wait for package holiday refunds as the travel industry goes into meltdown. The Home Office does...

Studio Bongard are relocating after 22 years!

Studio Bongard are relocating after 22 years!

It is with a little sadness that at the end of June this year Tara and Sylvain Bongard will leave their studio space of...

AlgarvePLUS Magazine - June 2020

AlgarvePLUS Magazine - June 2020

Welcome to the June issue of AlgarvePLUS magazine. The hazy summer days are here, with just a bit more freedom than in previous months....

How an ESA Provides the Comfort and Companionship You Need

How an ESA Provides the Comfort and Companionship You Need

A stressful lifestyle or an innate condition can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, mental fatigue, and even suicidal thoughts. Naturally, this can significantly...

Euro surges on EU’s Next Generation plan optimism

Euro surges on EU’s Next Generation plan optimism

Staying on top of the latest currency news can help you time your transfers more effectively, so find out what you should be looking...

Algarve Archaeological Association on hold for the Summer

Algarve Archaeological Association on hold for the Summer

The AAA lecture which was due to be held on Tuesday 2nd June has been cancelled due to the current situation with the Coronavirus....

City centre development - Loulé to rejuvenate - Olhão to destroy

olhaoLoulé council wants to rejuvenate its ancient town centre and is to engage fully with its ratepayers and voters to ensure that the final plans have the best possible chance of success through consensus and discussion.

A public consultation period is in progress and Loulé council welcomes comments on the proposed area covered and on the detail put forward by the city planners.

The council wants to see "increased social cohesion through rejuvenating the historic centre which will attract residents and businesses to an enhanced area of historic heritage and public spaces."

The council also plans to tart up any old buildings that need a facelift and to appreciate and cherish what it refers to as "the memory of the city."

The urban renewal project should qualify for external funding and the plans can be seen in the town hall, on the council's Facebook page ...

http://www.cm-loule.pt/destaques/6532/area-de-reabilitacao-urbana-do-centro-historico-de-loule.aspx

... at the parish council of São Clemente and the São Sebastião parish council building. Open government at its finest.

What a difference in attitude in Olhão as the council seems determined to hide its plans for a €12 million redevelopment of the city's cherished historic centre.

A detailed plan, presented by a Lisbon agancy to the council in a private session, aims actually to increase the flow of vehicles through the historic centre of town, a move that residents view as crass, mistaken and foolish based on the little information we have managed to glean.

Of equal concern is the planned destruction of certain of Olhao's old buildings to create wider roads for the convenience of vehicles and something called 'greater liveliness.'

Which of the old buildings are destined for destruction in and around the historic centre is anybody's guess at the moment as the plans have not been released for inspection, or for comment from the very people that the project will impact. 

The council is to vote on the historic centre project 'as is' during its next meeting, and only then ask for the opinions of locals. This secretive way of operating has infuriated many residents as a plan that has been passed by the council will be 100 times harder to change than if there was proper public involvement in the first place.

Some of the project may indeed be suitable and in keeping with the unique historic centre of Olhão but without being able to see the plan before it is approved it will be hard to make changes and agree on what, if anything, really is needed.

Locals are not hopeful and of course reckon that much deliberately is being hidden by a council which is "not using its own money for the project, so why should it care?" according to one Portuguese retiree.

Olhão's recent city squares project that saw five ancient calçada squares ripped up and replaced with utilitarian paving slabs, predictably already marked with indelible staining, shows just what an unchallenged council can achieve when spending grant money insensitively and failing to consult with the city's stakeholders.

One city centre estate agent is infuriated at the council's attitude and lack of appreciation of how much of the city's business sector currently is being financed. The hundreds of old houses in Olhão sold in the past three years to French, German, British, Scandinavian and Irish clients among others have all needed money spent on them, primarily for goods and services from local suppliers.

The draw for these immigrants is Olhão's historic centre, winding cobbled streets, old world charm, beautifully maintained churches and other old buildings, small and interesting shops, the market and access by ferry to the islands. 

The worry is that the council, by failing to engage and listen to locals will continue the 'paving slab, modern street lighting and stone bloc seats' theme right into the historic centre and, when a few trees are planted, will look back with pride at their achievement in destroying the goose that laid the golden egg.

 

 

 

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Property

Coronavirus Impact on the Algarve Housing Market

Coronavirus Impact on the Algarve Housing Market

Many people are wondering what has happened to the housing market in the Algarve during these extraordinary times effecting the...

Surge in user traffic from European countries suggests interest for holiday making, according to Imovirtual

Surge in user traffic from European countries suggests interest for holiday making, according to Imovirtual

Portugal started to ease lockdown measures from Monday 4th May with a three phase plan to reopen the country’s economy....

Fine & Country Get Back To Business (not quite) As Usual

Fine & Country Get Back To Business (not quite) As Usual

Portugal has begun a partial relaxation of lockdown regulations from Monday May 4th, with many businesses allowed to return to...

Exclusive Algarve Villas - April 2020 Newsletter

Exclusive Algarve Villas - April 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to our April newsletter! With businesses in lock down (locally we’re now at 2 months), we can see some...

What's Happening?

West Coast Car Boot Sale Set to Return In July

West Coast Car Boot Sale Set to Return In July

The West Coast Car Boot Sale, normally held on the first Sunday of each month, will not be taking place in June. Hopefully it will be able to start again...

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