No land for TMT on La Palma
News Release from Ben Magec Ecologistas in Accion, August 23, 2021
In a recent ruling, a judge of the High Court of Justice of the Canary Islands has revoked the concession of public forest land to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), thus accepting the appeal filed by the Canary Islands Ecologistic Federation Ben Magec.
The cause of revoking was ‘a fraudulent use of law’, one of our arguments. As for the rest of the legal grounds of our lawsuit, related to urban and environmental legality, we will enforce them in next lawsuits if necessary.
This cancelled land concession is the one the island government processed in 2019 after the same Court had revoked the previous concession for the TMT in 2017. Therefore, it is already the second occasion in which Justice rules against the interest of the Thirty Meters Telescope International Organization to have on La Palma an alternative site to the mountain Mauna Kea. The Hawaiian mountain is the preferred location and where it has all the administrative and judicial permits, but there is a strong social opposition determined to prevent its construction.
This ruling puts the TMT back to square one, since, as the public land concession is prerequisite, everything that has been approved subsequently based on the annulled concession would be equally invalid.
We believe that the five years TIO has lost in La Palma should make them reflect on the arrogant and disrespectful strategy they have had, both in Hawaii and in the Canary Islands, emboldened with institutional supports and despising the reasons of the opposition to the TMT. TIO already knew in 2016 that their project on La Palma contravenes all urban and environmental regulations that protect the area. Nevertheless, they preferred to collude with the IAC and the local authorities to modify the laws in their own interest, like purest style of urban planning corruption practices.
As TIO has been able to verify during these last five years, the determination of the environmental associations of the Canary Islands in defending the natural and cultural heritage of the summits of La Palma has very solid legal and scientific basics.
We believe that the Roque de Los Muchachos area, a priority conservation area of the Natura 2000 Network and peripheral protection area of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, has already reached levels of urbanization that are inappropriate for this emblematic landscape, rich in biodiversity and archaeological sites. We will firmly oppose the implementation of more building contrary to the nature of the place, such as the TMT, the Cherenkov Network Telescope Array and the European Solar Telescope.
Ben Magec assures that a judicial ruling leaves the TMT "without land on La Palma"
The concession to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on La Palma is annulled
The concession for the construction of the TMT in La Palma is canceled
HTH: TMT backup site in Canary Islands in jeopardy; court voids agreement to use public lands
SA: Thirty Meter Telescope hits legal snag in Canary Islands
AP: Spain judge nixes backup site for disputed Hawaii telescope