Corresponding member of the RABATCH and expatriate of the Royal Toledo Foundation
The mayor’s press conference on December 1 to communicate the location of the new barracks at the current Peraleda fair cannot really be more surprising after the impossibility of doing so in the place that she had planned in Vega Baja. With this, other sites have been discarded since talk of a new building for the barracks began in 2007, including the possibility of erecting it in the same place it occupies today, dispensing with a speculative operation to requalify the land for housing construction. in that same plot, such as the recent transfer of the Loyola barracks to the San Sebastián city council, apart from the political connotations with the PNV that that operation also entails.
The surprise of the wheel pressesa of our mayoress is also produced by its scenography, sheltered by the directors of the two cultural institutions most representative of the city: the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Historical Sciences of Toledo and the Royal Foundation of Toledo. In this way, they wanted to show the endorsement of both institutions to their decision, the location of the barracks in the same landscape protection zone as the previous one, a few meters to the west, on the other side of the river, in lto Peraleda, exactly the same geographical, cultural and historical unit, therefore, impossible to build. The new location is in the protection zone defined by the Instructions of the General Directorate of Fine Arts of 1968, within the visual cones of the 1997 Special Plan for the Historic District and in the buffer zone of the declaration of Toledo as a World Heritage City in 1986 and a City of Universal Value in 2013 by UNESCO. To this is added that it is in an archaeological zone, as it appears in the Municipal Archaeological Charter. And last but not least, in part of a flood hazard zone According to the Tagus Hydrographic Confederation, and of environmental value, with a protected environment.
In the case of the apparent endorsed by RABCHT, this fact cannot be less surprising to public opinion since this institution presented at the end of September 2018 Allegations to Modification 29 of the PGMOU 1986 for his plans to build in La Peraleda a new neighborhood of 5,300 homes, which, among many things, would prevent the protected view of the historic center from a distance, as the barracks would do, on a 37,000 m2 plot, much more than four times the current one. Thus, not only the existing legal protections would be violated, but also articles of the land and territory management legislation: LOTAU of Castilla la Mancha of 2010 and the State Law of Soil and Rehabilitation of 2015. On the other hand, it is also not known If the presence of the directors of the two prestigious cultural institutions responds to a previous study and debate within each of them on this location, with the participation of their members, although it is most likely that this has been the case, unless the support for the mayoress was exclusively in a personal capacity.
On the other hand, the mayor reiterates her commitment to the defense of the heritage and landscape values of Vega Baja, although has not mentioned among its successes and legacy for posterity the blocks of more than 5 heights of the extension of Santa Teresa and the path of the mulberry trees, crossing the BIC Vega Baja and burying archaeological remains, as well as the car parks. His ability to justify the change of a location is admirable, which his entire government team, including the Spanish ambassador to UNESCO and his partner in the PSOE Executive, pointed out as the most appropriate and respectful of heritage and landscape values. , despite the fact that there was already a geo-radar study and tastings that demonstrated the existence of archaeological remains. Nor do we doubt your knowledge of the arguments that led members of the platform “Toledo, Society, Heritage and Culture” to present from complaint for plunder before the Ministry of Culture on February 2, 2019, confirmed by subsequent Reports from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, to the Instances of the Ministry of Culture, and ICOMOS.
With the change of location to the Peraleda fair, the surprise increases, because the City Council advisers and councilors of all parties should be aware of the decision taken and of the legal inconveniences of the new location, which we do not know that this is the case. They should also know the reasons why the “Toledo, Society, Heritage and Culture” platform has been insistently asking for the cancellation of Modification 28, which includes 3,000 homes on a BIC, so that they can never and under no circumstances be built like the one The mayor herself has declared on numerous occasions, 300 homes in the vicinity of the Roman Circus, 98 next to the Cristo de la Vega, with 5 floors, and land for services and equipment, which represents a total area of 747,000 m2 from which would be discounted the 394,109 m2 of the BIC “Expansion of the Vega Baja Archaeological Site” on which the 3000 homes mentioned earlier were incoherently. With all that background, it seems incomprehensible that the City Council has scrapped other locations: Santa Bárbara, the polygon, its contact area or the Palomarejos neighborhood itself, with the opportunities to transfer the Virgen de la Salud Hospital, the reuse of the old Nursing school and the same block that now occupies the barracks, provided of your temporary transfer. Nor does it seem reasonable to justify the location in La Peraleda for inexcusable reasons of urgency, after more than 10 years since there is talk of a new barracks, and more when there are alternatives. Or is it that the barracks is part of a strategic plan to advance the occupation of La Peraleda in accordance with the Modifications 29 of the 1986 PGOU and the provisions of the annulled POM of 2007? And that, even if there is no demographic growth to justify it.
In summary, the press conference demonstrates the value of the arguments that led to the filing of complaints for urban planning actions already carried out and for the risks that Modifications 28 and 29 pose for Vega Baja and La Peraleda, but also shows the stubbornness of the mayor in the construction of the barracks in an area that enjoys the same levels of protection as those of the rejected plot, and which is now a place of leisure and multiple outdoor activities in Toledo. In spite of everything, it is to be expected that, with the aforementioned antecedents and her statements in defense of heritage and the landscape, our mayor will end up complying with the current legislation and consider again locations in another place, always with respect to the operational needs of the Civil Guard and without prejudice to the values of Toledo as a World Heritage City, which are also sustainable development and promote the plan for the reactivation of tourism that is currently being promoted by the group of World Heritage Cities in the face of the economic and health crisis that we suffer.