Madrid Council are once again having to defend themselves against accusations of improper process, but this time they will do so in front of the European Commission. The issue surrounds a parking project that would supply the Santiago Bernabeu stadium with around 2,000 extra parking spots.
A neighbourhood union has already made two complaints to the Madrid courts, alleging that no security study nor an environmental study of the impact of their underground parking project next to the Bernabeu. They also claim that there is no evidence that the project will benefit the community, alleging a misuse of public money in order to benefit private entities – in this case Real Madrid.
As per MD, the European Commission have now been presented with a fourth legal complaint, this time claiming that the project does not adhere to European environmental policy. They say it will increase traffic, as well as require the removal of 92 trees in the area which have been in place for a number of decades.
Deputy Mayor Inmaculada Sanz has defended the project, noting that they will explain the benefits to the community ‘as many times as necessary’, although they respect any disagreement. Sanz claims that it will ‘improve mobility and the quality of life in the area’, while also claiming all planning process met regulations. Her explanation for the improved quality of life is that 547 parking spaces will be available to residents, and bus stops will have their own dedicated platform underground – residents are set to lose 600 parking spots they currently have access to.
The project, which will see the underground car park built with a direct tunnel to the stadium, and the removal of two public roads, will cost the Madrid Council around €11m to build. As soon as it has been built, the management of the car park will be leased to Real Madrid Estadio, a subsidiary of Real Madrid, for 40 years, during which Los Blancos are projected to make in the region of half a billion euros. Despite it being a public project with such large profit margins, Real Madrid Estadio were the only company to present a bid for the lease.