The municipal government of Marbella rejected a suggestion to re-house owners of the doomed Banana Beach development, reports the Spanish press. A beachside complex of 297 apartments, Banana Beach is only one of 3 occupied developments (the other 2 being Río Real and Torrevigía) that is not included in the town planning amnesty legalising 18,000 properties in Marbella.
Apparently, town planners from the regional government in Seville floated the idea of rehousing owners at Banana Beach during negotiations over Marbella’s new-town plan, in which María Ángeles Muñoz, the Mayor of Marbella, tried to get Banana Beach included in the planning amnesty. The idea was build a new development of flats on a plot of municipal land next door to Banana Beach, paid for by the local government, and classified as social housing. As there were not going to be enough flats to compensate all the owners at Banana Beach, only those registered as resident in Marbella were going to get re-housed once Banana Beach was demolished. Marbella’s town council rejected the idea as “too expensive” for the town to afford, and unfair on owners at the other two illegal developments. “Why would be build homes for some and not for others?” a town hall spokesman told the Spanish press.
The future for owners at Banana Beach looks increasingly bleak. Angeles Muñoz still talks of finding solutions that are “better than demolition”, but once Marbella’s new town-plan is approved – now just a question of time – the courts will have to issue a demolition order for Banana Beach, if the law is to be applied.
Banana Beach was built after the town hall issued a construction licence for the development in 1998, and was even given licences of first occupancy (LFOs) by Marisol Yagüe, then Mayor of Marbella, just 35 days after Andalucia’s High Court reaffirmed Banana Beach’s illegal status.