20 September 2018 – El Mundo
On Thursday, the Governing Board of the Town Hall of Madrid approved the modification to the General Urban Development Plan to develop the Madrid Nuevo Norte project, previously known as Operación Chamartín, 25 years after the first attempts were made to get the project off the ground and after long negotiations between the Ministry of Development, the property developer Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), the entity awarded land by Adif, and the Town Hall.
Now, a period of public consultation has opened ahead of a debate in the Plenary, likely before the end of the year, in a meeting that is expected to be tense for the Ahora Madrid group, whose vote will be split, given that six councillors – three from Ganemos and three from Izquierda Unida – have expressed their opposition to the project. In fact, yesterday, Mauricio Valencia, the third deputy mayor, opposed the development at the meeting of the Governing Body after his party, Izquierda Unida asked Congress to suspend the new urban plans, which will completely change the northern face of the Spanish capital.
After it is approved in the Plenary, the plan will be sent to the Community of Madrid for its definitive approval, a mere formality, given that the Government of Ángel Garrido has already announced that it will give its approval provided all of the administrative requirements are fulfilled.
The councillor for Sustainable Urban Development, José Manuel Calvo, yesterday welcomed the fact that the project is going to be approved with “the support of the four groups” from the municipal body and with a different party leading each of the three administrations (…).
The new project has reduced the total permitted buildability of the project approved by the Town Hall of Ana Botella from 3,370,000 m2 in 2015 to 2,657,313 m2, which represents a decrease of 713,631 m2 (or 21%) (…).
In total, 10,500 new homes are planned, of which around 4,000 will be for social housing, owned by the Town Hall, within the 36% of land that corresponds to it according to the plans (…).
The councillor (for Sustainable Development) highlighted that one of the fundamental aspects of the operation will be the renovation of Chamartín train station, which “we want to turn into one of the best railway stations in Europe” (…).
The project, which is divided into four operating areas: Chamartín station, the Business Centre, Malmea-San Roque-Tres Olivos and Las Tablas Oeste, includes 390,700 m2 of green space, 252,094 m2 of facilities and 848,617 m2 for transportation. It will also have office space spanning 1 million m2 and the tallest tower in Spain, with 70 storeys.
The President of DCN, Antonio Béjar, said yesterday that he was “satisfied” with the approval of the plan, which in his opinion “proves that the regeneration of the north of Madrid is now a reality and that there is no turning back”, reports Efe. Meanwhile, Ecologists in Action and residents grouped into the FRAVM and North Zone Platform criticised the operation again for benefitting private interests and not those of citizens.
Original story: El Mundo (by Roberto Bécares)
Translation: Carmel Drake