Mayor of Marbella will fight all home demolitions

Angeles Muñoz, the Mayor of Marbella, has announced she wants to legalise all 700 properties in Marbella that are currently outside the new urban plan and earmarked for demolition, including the Banana Beach development.

She also announced that she has decided how the town hall will be compensated for legalising properties: the promoters responsible for illegal developments will pay the compensation, but current owners may be liable if the developer is unable to do so.

Developers have applauded her plans for encouraging “legal security”, but environmentalists have criticised them as an amnesty for illegal building.

The urban-planning changes Muñoz would like to introduce will be presented to the town council in a document for provisional approval this week, followed by a month of public consultation. “It will be very satisfactory to say to residents that they won’t have to pay fines of up to 12,000 Euros to legalise their homes,” said Muñoz.

According to the new plan, developers will have a year from the plans definitive approval to compensate the town hall with land or new public facilities, after which time the town hall can pursue developers who have not settled their compensation liabilities. If the town hall is unable to claim from developers, for example due to bankruptcy, home owners could be liable.

Muñoz recently announced an agreement, with the regional government in Seville, to legalise 200 of the 700 properties that were not included in the new urban plan originally proposed by Seville. But an opposition party spokesperson claims that the urban planning authorities in Seville have not agreed to the changes proposed by Muñoz, which would mean that there are still 700 properties illegal properties in Marbella left out of the urban plan that have no solution other than demolition.

Ricardo Arranz, president of the Andalusian Federation of Developers and Residential Tourism, praised the Mayor’s plans as an “intelligent response to the crisis”. He also said that “Marbella is going to get through this, and they are going to stop spreading that negative propaganda in the British press.”

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About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on ms@spanishpropertyinsight.com.