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The Catalan government has announced its rejection of the project to build a third golf course in the Girona municipality of Caldes de Malavella, presented by Camiral Golf & Wellness and the Spanish Golf Federation. The decision, made known this Tuesday, has had a significant impact on the possibility of the 2031 Ryder Cup being held in Catalonia. The Pere Aragonès executive maintains that Catalonia already has sufficient golf courses and that entering the race to hold the prestigious golf event is an "excuse" for an urban construction plan that does not comply with the principles of sustainable development. The initial project, which was also rejected by the government, proposed the construction of 185 luxury villas and an eighteen-hole golf course, but was considered "completely unfeasible". In a second version, Camiral Golf & Wellness modified the plan and proposed to enlarge the complex by 150 hectares, replacing the chalets with tourist accommodation and adding other facilities.

However, the new proposal has also been rejected, on the grounds that it collides with existing plans and with the preservation of the landscape. The technical report of the Generalitat's urban and territorial planning department highlights that the project affects land which is territorially protected for its agricultural and/or landscape value and that it is incompatible with the principles of sustainable urban development. Another factor that has influenced the Catalan government's decision is the dramatic lack of rain in Catalonia: drought has affected many areas of Catalonia for much of the last three years. In this grave environmental context, the construction of a new golf course is regarded as unviable. Finally, the report underlines that the project "is contrary to the precepts" of both the Caldes municipal land use plan and the partial territorial plan for the Girona counties, "which advocate that land affected by the proposal must be mostly undeveloped land".


The promoters continue to push for a Catalan bid

The promoters of the 2031 Ryder Cup bid have left the door open to the possibility of holding the tournament in Catalonia, despite the government's refusal to allow the new golf course. They argue that although the Generalitat has rejected the project for the third golf course, it has not rejected the holding of the famous intercontinental golf tournament, which pits the best European players against a United States team. In a statement, the promoters insisted that the project has the broad support of various institutions and administrations, including the Spanish central government, the Spanish and Catalan golf federations, the provincial councils and the Barcelona Tourism organization. "The government of the Generalitat has said yes to the Ryder, but has expressed its disagreement with the construction of the third golf course, even though it would be irrigated with 100% recycled water", explain sources close to the promoters. In total, the project that has been overturned by the executive included expanding the current facilities by 150 hectares, which would include the third golf course, the construction of a tourist complex (with a hotel or apartments) and a clubhouse.

Proponents of the bid claim that the Ryder Cup expressed the need to have a third golf course for the sporting event. With this information, they will ask the Ryder Cup organization to reconsider the situation and study the possibility of holding the tournament in the spa town of Caldes de Malavella, using the two existing golf courses at the Camiral Golf & Wellness complex. Meanwhile, the government maintains its position on the non-construction of the third golf course and assures that the country already has enough facilities of this type. The controversy surrounding the project and the government's decision have left in suspension the chances of hosting the 2031 Ryder Cup in Catalonia, while the promoters continue to defend their proposal and look for alternatives to convince the organization of the international tournament.