Construction of the La Dama de Noche Sports City in Marbella, which was opened on 18 January, was carried out without a municipal licence.
Legal proceedings against MFC Sport Arena, the owner of the installations used by Marbella FC and which include four football pitches, are under way over the alleged breach of town planning and environmental regulations. The La Dama de Noche residents' association filed a complaint to a Marbella judge, claiming that the construction was illegal as it was being carried out on protected land around the Río Verde.
The judge took on the case and on 20 December started legal proceedings with the public prosecutor, requesting the town hall pass on its files to help with the investigation.
The town hall, in the meantime, ordered a halt to construction on 16 January when works had already been completed, two days before it opened. They had previously been informed of the breaches and on 2 September last year carried out inspections during which they noted that ground had been moved, levelled and conditioned. On the day that the installations opened, they urged the developers to take the "necessary steps to legalise the works carried out".
MFC Sport Arena has accepted their decision and is likely to face a small fine, between 600 and 2,999 euros, after the town hall considered the infractions to be "minor".
However, in the criminal complaint filed by the residents' association, it is alleged that trees were pulled up and plants destroyed to carry out the construction.
The affected land is classified as a public water domain on which a 50-year lease was granted in 1987 to a company called El Cantizal to build a golf course. In October 2014, MFC Sport Arena, run by businessmen Roman Prokopenkov and German Pastushenko (the latter a Marbella FC shareholder), bought the lease. They then applied for planning permission which was still pending when works started.