The Urban Planning Commission of Girona announced a moratorium on construction along the 200km coastline of the Costa Brava, within 500m of the seaside, yesterday. The ruling will last a year, and be extendable to two years in length, while a strategic evaluation process is undertaken as to the long term future of this important natural area. The ban on construction will not apply to projects which had already been granted planning permission yesterday, but will scupper some developments which were in the pipeline, such as 33 luxury villas in Aigua-xelida, among others. In addition, the ruling will mean that greater scrutiny is placed on developments in the zone in future, with projects assessed on a “case by case” basis. The next step will be the firming-up of an Urban Development Plan (PDU) for the region, the draft of which will be presented to the 22 town councils in the province of Girona affected by the ruling, next week, according to Agustí Serra, the Generalitat’s Councillor for Territory and Sustainability. The Association of Property Developers of Catalonia said yesterday that they would examine the ruling with “a magnifying glass” to ensure that it “respects the law”. Josep Donés, the general secretary lamented that this ruling just as the market is picking up again.