The Justice has annulled several parts of the regulation that the Community of Madrid created for the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park because they lowered its environmental protection. The Madrid Superior Court of Justice obliges to redo the articles on climbing, sporting events, use of roads and use of buildings within the protected space.
The common denominator of the appeal presented by Ecologistas en Acción and Grama was that the Use and Management Plan (PRUG) prepared by the Community of Madrid reduced in several points the environmental safeguards that had previously existed.
The PRUG, now partially annulled, gave a generic go-ahead for holding sporting events despite the fact that the Master Plan for National Parks explains that “in general, the sports events and competitions inside national parks are considered incompatible with their objectives”. Yes, “exceptional” authorizations are allowed.
Under the protection of this regulation now judicially censored, the authorities of the Community of Madrid authorized in 2019, for example, 38 sports activities, according to the official memory of the national park. A year before There were 48 competitions – plus another 89 on the Segovian side managed by the Junta de Castilla y León–.
In the sports field, the magistrates have also censured that the Madrid Community plan allowed new rock climbing routes to be set up “when it was not allowed in the previous regulations,” they explain in Ecologistas en Acción. At the same time, the annulment affects the permit that the regulation drafted by the regional government gave to bivouac (sleep outdoors) from 2,000 meters high when, before, that protection level was drawn at 2,100 meters.
In addition, the judicial ruling annuls the change in the use of existing buildings that the Madrid PRUG had generated within the Special Use Zones. This meant, according to the resource of the ecologists, that buildings such as the Coppel refuge or Club Alpino Español, the Venta Marcelino (in the port of Los Cotos), the Casa Puerto de La Morcuera, the Canto Cochino forest houses (in Manzanares el Real), or the El Pingarrón refuge (on the Valdesquí road).
Ultimately, the Justice has indicated that not all the roads that pass through the national park can be used, but the use must be adjusted to those that are specifically authorized as also indicated in the national Master Plan. That gives work to the management of the park, which must, in this sense, review the trails to which it intends to give its approval.
The Community of Madrid says that it will “study the sentence in depth”, although it is of the opinion that it does not annul the PRUG that “remains in force”. The sentence “refers to very specific and minor articles,” he adds. He also considers that what is requested is that “we clarify the holders of the marches or authorized routes or that more descriptions of the passable sections of path be added.”