Marbella’s new town plan approved, thorny issues aside

Marbella’s new town plan has been approved today in a meeting in Seville between the town council and regional planning authorities, but the thorny issue of what to do with 7 illegal developments that Seville refused to include in the amnesty has been kicked into touch for now.

The new town plan sets the scene for legalising 16,500 properties in the municipality in return for compensating the town hall with money and/or land. Some 1,500 properties have been left out of the amnesty, only 500 of which have been sold to third parties and occupied. The previous draft of the plan, approved last July by Marbella’s town hall, envisaged leaving just 300 occupied properties out of the planning amnesty.

Still a Banana

The Junta’s decision to leave more homes out of the amnesty, at least for now, is partly a response to legal action by owners at the Banana Beach development who accused the planning authorities of inconsistency. Banana Beach, already sold and occupied by innocent third parties, was to be left out of the amnesty, whilst other developments like Jardines de la Costa (unoccupied), Alvarito Playa, edificio Alcotanes ,and Cerrado de Elviria Beach (Carril del Relojero), were to be legalised, despite similar planning infractions within 100 metres of the sea shore. The Plaza del Mar commercial centre has also been left out.

Banana Beach, Marbella
Banana Beach, Marbella

Banana Beach and the other developments left out of the amnesty like Golf Río Real represent less than 1% of the new plan. Seville is pushing for demolition, whilst Marbella is pushing for legalisation, and a final decision on what to do with them will be taken at a later date. This could drag on for years, maybe even decades. That will be little consolation to elderly owners at developments like Banana Beach.

The latest draft of the town plan envisages 26,500 more homes in Marbella, 9,500 of them social housing.