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Residents protest over plans to sell land used for feria and market

Some of the residents who protested in Benajarafe last Saturday.
Some of the residents who protested in Benajarafe last Saturday. / E. Cabezas
  • Locals claim that Benajarafe receives no investment from Vélez-Málaga town hall and that services in the village are overlooked

More than 100 Benajarafe residents, as well as members of the opposition IU and PP political parties, took to the streets last Saturday to protest against Vélez-Málaga town hall's decision to sell a piece of land which is currently used for the annual village feria, street market and for parking.

The 2,000 square metre land in question, which residents say is "the best plot" in the village, is one of 31 pieces of land the town hall hopes to sell to raise five million euros. The Benajarafe plot has been earmarked for the construction of 14 houses.

Olga Rodríguez, spokesperson for the residents, said on Saturday, "The town hall sells the land, but they don't invest a cent here." She went on to say that the only investment in the area planned last year was the coastal pathway in Chilches, which she pointed out is being paid for "not by the town hall, but by [Malaga provincial government] Diputación." She added that the work hasn't started yet.

A town hall spokesperson said that the money raised by the land sale would be used for services and infrastructure, including a centre for older people in Benajarafe as well as the planned theatre in Torre del Mar.

The protesters argue that investment only goes into Vélez-Málaga and Torre del Mar and that Benajarafe gets ignored. A number of similar protests were held last year over a lack of services and infrastructure including health, education, green areas and sports and play facilities.