A huge new tourist development planned for land behind La Cala de Mijas has received a boost by being declared strategically important for regional tourism.
Developers have finalised 60-million-euro plans for a project of 350 self-catering flats, the longest golf course in Andalucía, a 350-room hotel and an equestrian centre on one million square metres (248 acres) of land in the Entrerríos area of Mijas municipality, inland from La Cala de Mijas.
Now the Junta has decided to designate the project as of "interés túristico" (tourist interest), a legal definition for what ministers consider to be strategically valuable projects in a particular area. It is the first time since 2012 that the Andalusian regional government has made a similar declaration. The status is given to projects that help lengthen the tourist season and expand the leisure and sporting offer, and, in theory, it makes the project easier to carry out.
Vice-president of Andalucía and also regional minister for Tourism Juan Marín said, "This scheme meets all the requirements. It's a much anticipated project that has gone through all the right stages and has had nothing but favourable reports."
The project is being described as "Valle del Golf "(Golf Valley) and will be developed by a local company, Logarma, owned by businessman José Luis Martín Lorca, who also owns ML Hoteles. This group includes the Hotel Ángela, Hotel Yaramar and Hotel Florida Spa in Fuengirola, which are popular with foreign holidaymakers.
José Carlos Escribano, head of the company, said, "We hope that after the final administrative hurdles the first work will start in a couple of years," adding that the company was now finalising its financing for the project and would start with the golf course.
The apartments would be built in traditional Andalusian style and the hotel would be five stars with spa and conference centre. The equestrian centre, the company says, would be a pioneer in Europe and attract top riders.
The local council in Mijas has reacted positively to the project, highlighting the plans for a woodland area with 8,000 native trees and the creation of around 400 jobs.