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Residents 'shocked' as provincial authority rejects Axarquía coastal path plan

Part of the area affected by the provincial authority's decision. SUR
Part of the area affected by the provincial authority's decision. SUR
  • Vélez-Málaga town hall is redoing the project for the long-awaited stretch by the N-340 from Chilches to Benajarafe, part of the Senda Litoral scheme

The council in Vélez-Málaga has announced that it is revisiting its plans for three stretches of coastal pathway along the N-340 road between Chilches and Benajarafe after Malaga province's Diputación rejected the project last week.

The provincial authority has taken five months to give an answer to Vélez-Málaga, after the latter submitted its proposals in December 2019. The Diputación has said that it rejected the proposal on the grounds that the town hall failed to provide a geotechnical study of the area and changed its original plans.

Mayor of Vélez-Málaga, Antonio Moreno, said the town hall is already looking at its proposal again and that the footpath is "non-negotiable" as well as "strategic". The path is part of the provincial authority's ambitious 'Senda Litoral' project to have a coastal walkway the length of the Costa del Sol.

Protests

Spokesperson for the Chilches and Benajarafe residents group, Olga Rodríguez, said that members were "in shock" over the decision. The group has organised a series of protests in recent years demanding improvements for these villages which belong to Vélez-Málaga's municipal area.

Moreno said, "We don't understand why the Diputación keeps placing administrative obstacles in the way of the coastal path," and added that locals "don't deserve the treatment they are receiving".

The three sections included in the project make up a 2.4km stretch between the arroyo de Chilches and Las Adelfas to the west of Benajarafe. The plans include seven footbridges and an investment of over one million euros.