A court in Rio de Janeiro has this week rejected a call to halt construction of the Olympic golf course because of environmental concerns although, given the fraught history of this $25 million development, it would not be a surprise if there were further legal challenges.
The course, which is reported to be 70% complete, is located in a nature reserve to the west of Rio near the main cluster of Olympic venues and is part of a complex where some luxury apartments are reportedly selling for up to US$7 million.
The judge has rejected claims that the environmental licensing process for the course was riddled with errors and said that changes made by the city and the course developer partially addressed prosecutors’ demands to protect the local environment.
It is understood that these changes involved relocation of the 12th hole to make way for a 32-metre wildlife corridor to keep vegetation intact. Prosecutors initially said they wanted a wildlife corridor of about 400 metres to make sure the local environment was properly preserved.
The judge also said that the type of grass being used on the course did not endanger the vegetation already in place in the area.
Contractors are hoping to have the course finished soon so it will have had two full growing seasons by 2016.