Developers of illegal homes in Marbella have fines reduced by 75pc

Banana Beach, Marbella, one development that cannot be legalised.

The town council of Marbella has slashed the fine that developers will have to pay for legalising homes they built in contravention of planning permission, bringing the end of Marbella’s town planning chaos a step closer.

So long as the developers responsible for building some 16,500 illegal properties in Marbella compensate the town hall for legalising the properties, fines will be slashed by 75%. In most cases compensation involves donating land to the town council.

The decision to reduce fines was taken by the town council in early July, and complies with Andalucia’s regional planning laws (LOUA), argue the municipal government. Developers shouldn’t have to pay twice with compensation and fines, and anyway most can’t afford to do so, a council spokesman told the Spanish press. By that line of argument, smaller fines are better than nothing.

For example, the developer of the La Cañada commercial centre, Tomás Olivo, will have his fine reduced to 5.7 million Euros from of 23 million, plus ceeding 2 plots of land to the town hall.

Developers will welcome the news, but not necessarily all the conditions. They have to pay 25% of the fine up front, and provide a bank guarantee for the remaining 75% until compensation has been taken care of.

Developers that fail to meet all the conditions may be forced to demolish illegally-built property, if compensation and fines go unpaid.

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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.