At issue is the Plano de Pormenor do Espaço de Reestruturação Urbanística de Carcavelos-Sul (PPERUCS), which supports the urban restructuring of Quinta dos Ingleses, a 54-hectare area where the English college St. Jullian’s is located, in Carcavelos, in the municipality of Cascais, district of Lisbon.

The objective is to create an urban park, the “preservation and valorisation of the Quinta dos Ingleses building complex” and the construction of a development for “housing, commerce, services, hotels, and other uses”.

The project, promoted by the company Alves Ribeiro, has been contested by various environmental and social associations in the municipality of Cascais, which have already held several demonstrations, the latest on April 7.

In November last year, a group of citizens filed a lawsuit against the Cascais City Council with the aim of stopping this urbanisation plan.

The draft solution presented by the BE in parliament on April 9, calls on the government to “urgently adopt measures to classify Quinta dos Ingleses as a protected landscape, in order to guarantee the preservation of the biophysical, ecological, historical and cultural heritage of the location”.

“This project interferes with areas of the National Ecological Reserve (REN) and water lines, which will negatively impact the local flora and fauna, seal soils and worsen the landscape, causing the area to be more susceptible to the local effects of the climate crisis, such as the rise in the average sea level”, states the document by the BE.

The BE also intends to ban “alterations to the morphology of the soil and vegetation in Quinta dos Ingleses” and supports the development and implementation of a plan for the ecological restoration of the site.

A month ago, the Cascais Town Hall announced that the conditions had been met for work to begin on the Quinta dos Ingleses, and a fence had already been installed around the site.

The announcement was made by the deputy mayor, Nuno Piteira Lopes, during a meeting of the Municipal Assembly.

At the meeting, the Social Democrat mayor said that with this project, “the largest urban park in the parish of Carcavelos will be born” and added that it will be finalised by the summer of 2025.

The PAN (People-Animals-Nature) also presented a draft solution recommending that the government promote the safeguarding and valorisation of Quinta dos Ingleses as a locally protected landscape.

In May 2021, the mayor of Casais, Carlos Carreiras (PSD), stated in parliament that the municipality does not have the capacity to halt the Quinta dos Ingleses urbanisation project, claiming that this would mean paying “unaffordable compensation” since the developers “have acquired rights over the land”.

“We will be able to preserve the Quinta dos Ingleses area if the parliament does its part and creates a legal instrument that allows the government to halt the process”, said the mayor at the Assembly of the Republic’s Environment, Energy and Spatial Planning Committee.