|The Kuhn Villa on Tagomago.|
The little island of Tagomago, off the east coast of Ibiza has long been a place of tranquility and peace. A shy, protected and barren rock that was named after General Magon Barca, a brother of the Carthaginian General Hannibal. However a development plan for a small chiringito on Tagomago has just been given the green light by Xarxa Natura and it has caused uproar in Ibiza with the local environmental group GEN threatening to take legal action to overturn the decision. In 1913 a lighthouse was constructed and then a 70’s style building that stood in the middle of the island was transformed into a luxury private villa and opened to guests in 2010 with a €120,000 per week price tag. The owner of the Villa is German Estate Agent, Matthais Kuhn, whose partner is the famous Catalonian showgirl, singer and celebrity, Norma Duval. Kuhn has close political connections to the pro business friendly PP party along with the powerful Matutes family who own or control most of Ibiza and were recently vociferous in their defense of devloping Sa Collinera lighthouse into a luxury Hotel.
The small chiringito on Tagomago became a popular haunt for Royalty and artists when it was managed by John Middleton as it could only be accessed by boat. After a number of years closed the chiringito was reopened by DJ and promoter John Beach in 2013 with a small capacity(13 tables) for a select but wealthy guest list. It was a runaway success and the Chiringito then applied for permission to extend and develop its restaurant to accommodate more guests. The island is a protected home for rare species of birds and it came as a big surprise when the Catalonian based environmental group, Xarxa Natura, gave permission to develop the area. The local environmental group in Ibiza, GEN were shocked that a fellow green friendly organisation would allow any development to occur and immediately denounced the decision stating that they would appeal to the European Commission to have it overturned.
|Norma Duval and Matthais Kuhn|
In a classic case of “la pava de llamar al negro olla” (kettle calling the pot black) the PSOE/Pacte blamed the conservative Santa Eularia Council for not introducing stricter environmental laws to protect Tagamago and has now called for new laws to be introduced. However, new laws will be a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, as the Chiringito will have exploited loopholes to allow the development to go ahead. The only way that it can be stopped is if the GEN appeal to the European Commission is upheld or the ley de costas object. It is a worrying time for Ibiza’s precious offshore islands and its protected flora, fauna and marine life. With plans already submitted for Sa Collinera and now Tagamago, greedy entrepreneurs will be eyeing up the next available island for development. At this rate nothing seems sacred and one would not be surprised to see Es Vedra being targeted in the future as the legal profession continue to find ways to exploit old laws .