The Constitutional Court has annulled an agreement set out in March 2007 that ordered the paralysation of construction to finish the desalination plant in Torrevieja. A conflict of jurisdiction raised by the central government against Valencia stopped the works.

The plant was set to be a flagship project, becoming the largest such facility in the whole of Europe, and the second largest in the world, but was fraught with political debate, claims of over budgeting and waste and environmental concerns.

Among other arguments, the Valencian Consell said at the time that the state administration was not competent to build the plant as it was situated on the natural and protected land of the lagunas of Torrevieja, and on the path of a natural flowing waterline.

However, according to the legal basis of the decision, the Consell has no jurisdiction but the state ensured the potential benefits of desalination to "generate the resources needed to complete the demands of irrigation areas”.

Once the court clarified that the competence of the plant does lie with central government, showing that in the pre-construction phase there were different processes which took place, including the mandatory environmental impact reports which were issued and the guaranteed involvement of the authorities concerned.

If the community does not agree with the assessment of environmental impact made by the state administration, as in this case, the court has indicated that the path of the autonomous government is an administrative appeal.

As reported in the Official State Gazette, the high court resolves the conflict of jurisdiction raised at the time by the central government against the Generalitat Valenciana following this cessation, in a decision of 21 March 2007.

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