Ban on skyscraper plan for Atletico stadium

A Spanish court has blocked plans to build 2,000 flats on the site of Atletico Madrid's Vicente Calderon stadium.

Ban on skyscraper plan for Atletico stadium
The VIcente Calderon stadium on the banks of the river in Madrid. Photo: Javier Soriano / AFP

In a judgement passed on April 13 and published on Friday, the court in Madrid scrapped a plan passed by the city council in 2009 that would have allowed the construction of tower blocks on the site of the ground in the south of the Spanish capital.

The court explained that they had taken their decision because the plans did not conform with laws preventing the construction of buildings which rose higher than three stories plus attic space.

According to the daily El Pais, the plans were to build towers rising to 36 stories.



The judgement can still be appealed.

The initial plans were to replace the Vicente Calderon with green space and build apartments on the adjacent site of a former factory owned by the brewery Mahou.

El Pais report that the operation would have helped Atletico fund building work at their planned new ground, La Peineta, in the east of Madrid, where construction work is set to cost 195 million euros (£139.7m, $212m).

Senales de Humo (Smoke Signals), a supporters association opposed to the plans to demolish the Calderon, took the case to court.

Atletico, meanwhile, released a statement declaring that the court's decision will not have any impact on their move to La Peineta, the athletics stadium which is being expanded to hold 70,000.

"Work on the new stadium is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2017 and this judgement will not change that," the club said.

Atletico, in whom Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin has invested around 47 million euros, claim that the new stadium will "improve their image" and help them "move into the modern era".

The ground was initially supposed to be ready this year. It was earmarked to be used as the Olympic Stadium if a Madrid bid for the 2020 Games had been successful, but the Spanish capital lost out to Tokyo.

The Calderon, which holds almost 55,000, has been Atletico's home since

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Madrid police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.

A camel in a zoo
A file photo of a camel in a zoo. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.

“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around a street corner.

“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.

There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.

Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats – had been safely caught.

“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”

Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.

These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.