BCN World Faces More Delays

In Catalonia, Spain, those behind the Hard Rock Barcelona World project have faced additional bumps in the road thanks to another push to prevent it from developing. This time, a motion from the Commons (ECP) was put forward to stop the project in its tracks. However, the project garnered little support in the Catalonian Parliament and was ultimately rejected in April 2023.

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Details of the latest motion

This attempt to stop the progress on Hard Rock Barcelona World was rejected by most government parties in Catalonia and only supported by ECP and CUP (the Popular Unity Candidacy), two left-wing, socially progressive parties.

The two supporters used this opportunity to again voice their disapproval of the project, which proposes a mega resort be built in the Catalonian province of Tarragona, overlapping both Salou and Vila-seca. Though the project has support from important government factions and business investors, it has also gained many enemies.

The biggest group that is acting against the project is still Aturem BCN World (translating to “Let’s Stop BCN World” in Catalonian). The group shared an update about this recent attempt to stop the plans on its official blog.

The blog post cited the following points, which they believe may give them a legal route to stopping the development project going any further:

  1. Failure to comply with the Judgment due to the use of the lagoon of the former zone 1 of the CTI.
  2. Creation of legal uncertainty by the replacement of the PMU by the present modification.
  3. Lack of the mandatory budget document in the PDU.
  4. Undefinedness and uncertainty in the execution of compensatory measures.
  5. Lack of solid justification for the change in the performance system.
  6. Inconsistency of the economic assessment regarding the load sharing percentages between Vila-seca and Salou.
  7. Impacts on the landscape.

Though they have many legal points to contest, the group’s strongest reason for opposing the plan lies in its effect on the landscape and ecological outcomes for the area. The project developers have had to address this in the past, including in 2020 when the planning board for the area, Catalan Department of Territory, demanded various modifications.

Where the project stands now

Overall, the BCN World project has faced numerous challenges and oppositions over the 11 or so years that it has been in discussion. Still, this latest ruling seems promising for those trying to push the project forward and break ground on the sizable real estate that the new resort would occupy, since it was uniformly rejected by most Catalonian government parties.

Instead of rejecting the sale of land for the project, these parties also firmly supported its sale and declared that it would be left available for development until time started for the project to finally break ground.

If executed as planned, the final resort will consist of a complex of 1,000 hotel rooms, event spaces, restaurants, shopping, ample casino floors, and a 64,500-square-foot pool. It would also gain substantial financial investment into the area and potentially create thousands of jobs, both permanent and temporary during construction.

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