About Jimena de la Frontera, the province of Cadiz and Spain as a whole, focused on this small village in the mountains


Further to our recent articles on the San Pablo golf course, promoted by Irish developer Robert Noonan (photo), we were sent the following article from VOX, ‘The Truly Independent Gibraltar Newspaper’.


Gibraltar’s controversial new multi-million airport, whose development was part of the tripartite Cordoba accords, may prove a substantially bigger white elephant than many already suspect, following the Government’s move against the property developers OEM International. In a tit-for-tat move which is likely to be seen as retaliatory, Irish millionaire developer Robert Noonan has reopened negotiations with Madrid to establish a new airport on the broad valley bottom between San Martin del Tesorillo and Jimena.

Noonan is said to have “washed his hands of Gibraltar” after the Caruana Government this week revoked the leases and licences granted to OEM for three affordable housing projects (see story on this page) and for the Buena Vista site on which Noonan and his associates planned to build luxury homes.

Already angered by what he regarded as Government pressures that led to the failure of his proposed FlyGibraltar airline, Noonan is bitter about the “ill-managed” way in which the OEM problem was handled, and at his treatment by Chief Minister Peter Caruana, VOX learned yesterday.

When Noonan was urged by the then Transport Minister Joe Holiday to start a Gibraltar-based airline he shelved his plans for a controversial airport to be built on the 240ha site near Jimena. It would have served the Campo as well as providing easy access to the multi-million Euro golf-course, hotel and time-share complex Noonan is developing to the north-east of Jimena and less than 15 minutes drive away.


Now Madrid’s enthusiasm for the project has been rekindled and the Spanish authorities are understood to be acquiring a further 140ha adjacent to the airport site on which to build a state of the art science and technology park. This would reduce Spain’s reliance on the planned new Gibraltar airport -already proving a disappointment to Iberia, which has reduced its initial daily service between Gibraltar and Madrid to twice-weekly flights.

Unconfirmed reports that the new airport is likely to be constructed by a Spanish company with links to Noonan’s former partner, local entrepreneur Daren McCoomb, have also encouraged the Irish developer to resume his plans for the Jimena site which would not only compete seriously with Gibraltar’s proposed airport but could make it commercially unattractive.

“If this happens, coupled with a probable easyJet withdrawal from services to the Rock, Gibraltarians could find themselves having to travel to Jimena for flights,” a source close to Noonan tolkd VOX yesterday.

© Vox Gibraltar Online Daily News





  Capricious wrote @

Oh no!!

“Development” of the San Pablo golf course – what development?

Prospero, will you be translating the 2 comments received from Juan Antonio on the San Pablo Golf Project, he made some very good points.

Let not Mr Noonan think that he will find people in Jimena a walkover and lets hope he meets the same fate here as he met in Gibraltar.

If he is buying more land, why can’t he just use it to graze cows or something. He is sure to meet the same resistance he met before over the airport. Perhaps more – this time round, now that you and Ricardo have got these blogs going so well, we will all find it much easier to share views and organise some serious resistance!

  jimenaprospero wrote @

Good point, Cap, thanks! Yes, I’ll translate Juan Antonio’s comments.
Surely you’ve seen the enormous investment in earth moving going on at the ‘development’!
I have to declare an interest here, though: I met Mr. Noonan in Dublin and I believe he paid for my stay (and everyone else’s) at a very upmarket hotel there when we went with Mayor Gómez prior to the second music festival. I found him to be a very charming man and a very astute businessperson.
As for grazing cows, I doubt he would buy land for that, frankly.

  tiojimeno wrote @

Can you traslate into spanish, please?

  Juan Antonio wrote @

Puede que me precipitara antes, ya en el 2.006 estaba en venta la parcela en 60 millones de euros. Hay artículos que por lo visto no pasan de moda:


En ese link hay enlaces además a artículos sobre el aeropuerto y sus efectos, ya del 2.004, situando el 2.007 como horizonte para su puesta en marcha… ha llovido mucho desde entonces, y el futuro de Barría (recalificándose sin duda) aún parece estar en el aire.

  jimenaprospero wrote @

Yes, yes, I’ll translate! As soon as possible: for those who don’t realize it, translations take time unless you use one of those automatic thingys, in which case the chances of the result being intelligible are minimal . As a professional translator, I’m not going to use one of those, so you’ll just have to wait. (We’ll be starting a bi-lingual collection of hysterical, possibly historical, translations in the New Year – so keep an eye on the blog!)
But thanks to all for your various comments, in whatever language. I’m also grateful that nobody has sent in anything in Swedish, Farsi or Bantu.
(Note to TioJimeno: a ver si te aclaras con los apóstrofes ingleses, picha – sí, ya sé que son jodíos, pero lo digo con cariño. Ya te enviaré la traducción al español, que sé que interesa, y mucho.)

  jimenaprospero wrote @


El controvertido y multimillonario aeropuerto de Gibraltar, cuya renovación forma parte de los Acuerdos Tripartitos de Córdoba, puede terminar siendo un ‘elefante blanco’ mucho más grande de lo que se podría haber supuesto, después de que el gobierno [de Gibraltar] se haya movido en contra de la promotora OEM Internacional. En lo que se podría calificar de una maniobra de represalia, el millonario promotor inmobiliario irlandés, Robert Noonan, ha reabierto negociaciones con el gobierno de Madrid para instalar un aeropuerto en el valle entre San Martín del Tesorillo y Jimena.

Se dice que Noonan se ha ‘lavado las manos con respecto a Gibraltar’ después de que Peter Caruana [Ministro Principal de Gibraltar] revocó las licencias otorgadas a OEM para la construcción de tres proyectos [tipo] VPO y para el proyecto de Buena Vista, en el que Noonan y sus asociados iban a construir viviendas de lujo.
Enfadado ya por lo que considera presiones gubernamentales que llevaron al fracaso su intención de establecer una compañía aérea, FlyGibraltar, Noonan se resiente de la manera en que el gobierno ha conducido el problema OEM y de su tratamiento por parte de Caruana, según supo VOX ayer.
Cuando el entonces Ministro de Transporte [de Gibraltar], Joe Holiday, urgió a Noonan que creara una línea aérea gibraltareña, el irlandés abandonó su proyecto de crear un aeropuerto en las 240 hectáreas que posee en Jimena. El proyecto serviría al Campo de Gibraltar, además de acceso directo a otro proyecto multimillonario de Noonan a 15 minutos al noreste de Jimena: hoteles, campo de golf y apartamentos que se venden con el sistema de tiempo compartido (‘time-share’).

Ahora, el entusiasmo por parte de Madrid sobre el proyecto jimenato se ha vuelto a incentivar y se cree que las autoridades españolas están comprando otras 140 hectáreas próximas al aeropuerto para construir un parque tecnológico y científico de última generación. Esto reduciría la dependencia española para con el proyectado aeropuerto gibraltareño – que ya ha desilusionado a Iberia, empresa que ha reducido sus vuelos diarios iniciales a dos por semana.
Hay indicios sin confirmar que el nuevo aeropuerto [de Gibraltar] sería construido por una empresa española con vínculos a un antiguo socio de Noonan, Daren McCoomb, y que este hecho ha sido un factor en la decisión del irlandés de continuar con su proyecto del aeropuerto de Jimena, que no solo competiría con el de Gibraltar sino que además lo haría menos rentable.
“Si esto ocurriera, y contando además con la retirada probable de EasyJet de la Roca, los gibraltareños podrían verse obligados a viajar a Jimena para sus vuelos,” dijo a VOX una fuente cercana a Noonan.

© Vox Gibraltar Online Daily News

  Tasha wrote @

We have just bought a place to do up for our eventual retirement near Jimena, the very thought of anyone putting an extra road in let alone a runway is criminal, it would spoil the whole reason why people like it there, want to vist/live/etc.

The golf course near San Pablo hopefully is the first and last of the development going on.

Any information on this, please keep posting as I’m right behind blocking this from happening as I certainly don’t want my orange grove turned into a carpark/terminal etc! :o(

  jimenaprospero wrote @

Thanks for the comment, Tasha.
You may not know this, being relatively new to the area, but this is an ongoing thing that comes up every so often…
You’re quite right that it would spoil the reason people come here. That’s not all it would spoil, of course, as it would be right up against the Los Alcornocales Nature Reserve. In fact, the last proposal was rejected on environmental grounds, so there’s hope.
Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, and knowing how things have usually worked around here, chances are you’ll be past retirement before anything much happens, so keep smiling. :-)

  CraftyPip wrote @

Having had the last attempt to develop an airport near to Jimena rejected owing to serious ecological reasons, Robert Noonan stated

” When we approached the Junta de Andalusia about building an airport near Jimena, we gave an undertaking that if the ecological and sociological studies of its impact on the area proved to be negative, we would pull out,” Noonan explained at the press conference called to officially launch Fly Gibraltar.
(Gibraltar Magazine)
There have not been any changes to the ecological or social environment since the last report showed that an airport would have a negative impact.

The proposal of an airport near Jimena will not just affect Jimena but anywhere up to about 15 km radius of the airport.
Make your own mind up if its going to affect you.
All I can say is that having worked at Gatwick Airport for a couple of years, I know at first hand the serious implcations of an airport. The two things which immediately spring to mind are noise and air pollution, but more importantly the proposed site is on one of the worlds bird migratory routes.
Sparrows and small birds can be warned off, but the thought of a bird strike with a flock of Vultures , Stalks , Eagles or Buzzards does not bear thinking about. These birds are at the top of their food chain and it may be amusing to see the means by which they are removed.
A bird strike will remove one or two birds but who explains to the relatives of a disaster that the devlopment of an airport on bird migratory route flew in the face if the Experts findings!!!

  Juan Antonio wrote @

Recuerdo que hace unos años, cuando Jimena apareció en las noticias sobre la Operación Malaya, hubo quienes se dieron prisa en anunciar que la finca del asesor urbanístico marbellí fuera a recalificarse para Campo de Golf y urbanización.

La excusa* fue entonces que se encontraban en un “pasillo ambiental” para las aves migratorias, y que la recalificación era incompatible con el sostenimiento del medio ambiente en la zona.

Si en aquel entonces un Campo de Golf o una urbanización estaba tan claro (curiosamente un año antes no) que resultaba inviable ecológicamente, ¿acaso un aeropuerto va a afectar menos a ese pasillo ambiental?.

Yo creo que no, pero las excusas cambian según convenga a algunos, con lo que todo es posible.

* Digo “excusa” porque, por más que se pidiera, jamás apareció documento alguno, negro sobre blanco, donde se indicara ese motivo para la suspensión de los convenios relacionados con el blanqueo de capitales.

  jimenaprospero wrote @


  CraftyPip wrote @

I understand Juan Antonio´s view in relation to the development of the Campo de Golf and that anything is possible if facts and figures and zonal boundaries are changed to fit the criteria.
Surely if Madrid believed another airport was needed in the locality, then why upgrade Malaga, introduce more flight routes to Jerez and enter into a joint agreement over the use of Gibraltar.
From Jimena, none of the airports are more than a stones throw away.
On the note of a golf course urbanization: I am not a golf player but, although a golf course changes the environment , it does allow for the wild life to remigrate into it.
I have not as yet seen a golf ball causing the migratory birds any cause for concern or cause noise and extreme air pollution over an area which would cover many square miles of land.
The novelty of aircraft is a short lived experience and although it will bring employment as an airport, sooner than later the constant noise of over flying aircraft will lose its glamour.
The very area it is supposed to enhance will be in fact adversly affected.

  jimenaprospero wrote @


“I remember a few years ago, when Jimena appeared in the news about Operation Malaya, there were those who were quick to announce that the “asesor urbanístico de Marbella” (Marbella’s ‘town planning consultant’, Roca) would reclassify to golf course and urbanization.
The excuse * then was that they were in an “environmental corridor” for migratory birds, and that the rezoning was incompatible with sustaining the environment of the area.
If things then were so clear about a golf course or a housing development (curiously, not a year before) that environmentally non-viable, is an airport going to affect the environmental any less?
I think not, but the excuses change as they become convenient to some, making everything possible.

* I use the word “excuse” because, even after being requested, no document in black on white has ever appeared, which suggests that the reason for the suspension of agreements could be related to money laundering.”

  Golf in Malaga wrote @

I agree with Tasha ” The golf course near San Pablo hopefully is the first and last of the development going on”.

  chris shaw wrote @

All is not well with Mr Noonan

I understand that Barclays Bank have now called in their loans on the Nelson View [Gibraltar] developments from Noonan. He owes 12 million pounds or more and could lose his assets in Spain. He is also about to lose control of his development property in Soho London. He owes the Israeli bank 32 million pounds. They have now taken possession of the property. Surely this is the last throw of the dice for Noonan, his empire has crashed and burned!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: