The press this week reported that yet again the regional government cannot find the money to restore the old mining town of Rodalquilar. The former mine workers’ houses stand derelict next to the bright new town. The site covers 35 hectares and was acquired by the Junta de Andalucia 10 years ago. The plan is to create a Villa Turistica, converting the old houses into 110 holiday apartments and creating a hub with an administrative centre, shop, restaurant, swimming pool, tennis courts, garden and children’s play areas.
The traditional style of architecture would be retained to preserve the history of the famous gold mining epoch here.
The original estimate was 8.9 million euros. At the height of the boom in 2007 it had increased to 11.3 million euros and now the estimate is 14 million euros. State owned Villas Turisticas are usually leased to private enterprise and we doubt if any entrepreneurs would see it as a viable enterprise in these days of austerity.
An idea we have not seen put forward is that the land could be divided into individual plots with a ruin on each with planning consent to restore in the traditional style. These could be sold to private buyers and the money raised pay for the infrastructure – roads, street lighting, green areas and mains services such as water, electricity and sewage. The project could be done in phases and the plots should be inexpensive just to cover costs. would this not create employment and revitalise the area?