SPAIN is at risk of causing irreparable damage to its coastline, according to environmentalists.
The warning comes as the Spanish government approves plans to allow development to take place within 20 metres of the shore.
The controversial coastal law had previously prevented an building work from taking place within 100 metres of the beach.
Greenpeace has accused Spain of violating EU environment laws and plans to submit a petition to Brussels later in the year.
So far the campaigners have gathered 150,000 signatures.
Chiclana in Cadiz is among the top 10 most over-developed municipalities in the country, according to Greenpeace, with Vera, Torrox and Motril also being singled out for criticism.
The three municipalities with the highest percentage of artificial surfaces within 500 metres of the coastline were all on the Costa del Sol, with Mijas (91%), Fuengirola (95%) and Marbella (90%).
Meanwhile, Casares was identified as one of the top five municipalities in relation to the speed at which the natural environment is being destroyed.
In contrast, Njiar and Almanzora were praised for having the largest areas of protected land.
“The new law worries us enormously,” said Greenpeace spokesman Pilar Marcos. “It is returning us to the 1960s in terms of environmental protection. We are taking giant steps backwards.
“Almost half of Spain’s Mediterranean coast has already been urbanised and we can’t allow the 50% that remains to be swallowed up by bricks,” Marcos added.