A petition has been drawn up in an attempt to save a 17th century former sherry bodega which is due to be demolished and turned into apartments.

Casa Arizon, in Sanlucar, Spain, was bought by Madrid-based Casa Grande Arizon 18 years ago, and the regional Andalucian authority’s cultural council has now given permission for a ‘restoration’ project that will see the building turned into 80 flats.

But Alvaro Giron, spokesman for Aula Gerion, an association dedicated to the preservation of the heritage and historical buildings in Sanlúcar, said the project would be ‘a terrible loss for those who love sherry and its history’.

‘The core of the city, well preserved for centuries, is witnessing an unprecedented process of devastation by speculators,’ Giron told decanter.com. ‘Old houses and palaces are being torn down, gardens are being destroyed – the best examples of popular architecture are getting seriously damaged.’

The petition, which can be viewed online, will be sent to the cultural council of the Andalucían regional government, as well as the culture minister of the Spanish government, and the president of the European Parliament.

Giron, who is hoping for at least 3,000 signatures of support, added that he believed there was a ‘widespread sense of disgust’ among locals, and that ‘many share a justified feeling of betrayal’.

‘If Arizon is finally destroyed, everything seems possible in Sanlúcar. If we do not put an end to this madness, Sanlucar will lose its identity as a wine city in a very short time,’ he said.

Details on Aula Gerion’s petition can be found here.

Written by Stuart Peskett