The new updated master town plan for Marbella, known as the PGOU (Plan General de Ordenación Urbana), won't penalise property built illegally during the years when Jesús Gil and his GIL party ran the town around twenty years ago.
Unlike the last PGOU in 2010, which had a system of compensation payments to normalise the status of irregular homes that was later declared null and void by the courts, the new document will start from how the town looks now.
In other words, all property classed as on consolidated urban land will be validated as such, irrespective of whether it was built with licences based on other rules valid at that time.
According to the town's mayor, Ángeles Muñoz, this will bring peace of mind to the majority of those property owners with homes so far without legal protection.
She clarified, however, that this doesn't mean all the irregular homes will be validated in the new PGOU. Councillors aren't sure as yet quite how many will remain unauthorised, however it is expected to be the minority.
Muñoz and the councillor for Planning, Kika Caracuel, unveiled a preview of the new PGOU plan on Monday. This will be presented to opposition parties in the coming days and put before a special meeting of the full council on 29 July.
"What we want to have is a plan that is actionable," Muñoz explained, following the experience of the overturned 2010 planning blueprint for the resort.
Among its features, the new PGOU will allow more flexible land use, emphasise the town's green credentials and help protect the historic centres of Marbella and San Pedro. There will also be provision to expand the harbours at Puerto Banús and La Bajadilla fishing port.