Faced with a legal town-planning maze of epic proportions, Marbella council has appointed a panel of top planning academics to help it find a way out.
Marbella has been going through years of turmoil since widespread planning abuse and illegal construction in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2010, the council approved a new master town plan, which aimed to compensate for the offences and clarify the legal situation for investors. However this plan was rejected by the Supreme Court and since then the town hall has had to fall back on a woefully outdated plan from 1986 for its day-to-day decisions. Some 30,000 properties are still officially illegal.
The team formed to help the council get out of this legal confusion is headed by four top Spanish university professors and has just won a 170,000-euro tender under a proposal led by the University of Malaga. Seeking external help in this way is unusual but business leaders have welcomed the move. The ‘think tank’ will review legal issues related to the rejection of the 2010 plan and prepare the groundwork for a new plan.