surinenglish

Anger at plan to build Kingdom Hall on land meant for a school

The plot of land is officially meant for educational use.
The plot of land is officially meant for educational use. / Josele-Lanza
  • Parents' groups say they don't have a problem with a religious building being built but claim Marbella urgently needs more space for educational use

Parents in Marbella have condemned the council for trying to give away municipal land meant for educational use to a new place of worship for local Jehovah's Witnesses. Last week Marbella town hall published plans for the 2,200-square-metre plot of land in the El Pinar II area of Río Real, east of the town centre.

The PGOU master plan allocates almost all the plot for a school or similar building. The lack of state schools in the municipality has long been the subject of complaint from parents, and although the piece of land is too small for a full-sized school, plans were drawn up in 2010 for a kindergarten for 160 children but it was never built.

Ampas, the association of parents' groups from local schools, said this week, "We've nothing against a religious building being built, but we do have a problem with it being built on land for educational or social use."

Opposition groups have also criticised the plan, which is at its public consultation stage, although a council spokesperson said that other political parties had always known about the plan and that it had still to go to council for approval.

The current premises used as a Kingdom Hall, in the centre of Marbella, would be given to the council to use for five years as part of the deal.