A major new public park for the Costa is still far from being finished. The delay is now being blamed by staff at the Junta regional-government's ministry for the Environment on the rare Iberian Spadefoot Toad.
The Parque Benítez, a former barracks covering 250,000 square metres near the airport between Malaga and Torremolinos, is already open. But it lacks basic landscaping and facilities and is little used.
Before Malaga council can carry out the work, it needs permission from the Junta's environment team. However, they put the plan on hold over two years ago, saying the council needed to first alter a streambed that was a flood risk. Last year the council reluctantly submitted its new plans and has not heard anything since.
It has now emerged that staff in the same Junta ministry are against the change their colleagues demanded, saying that altering the stream will destroy the toad's habitat. The council, happy not to spend six million euros on solving the problem of the stream, has asked the Junta to make its mind up.