In 2015 the Supreme Court annulled the 2010 Urban Plan (PGOU) for Marbella and this was a huge setback for the town when it was just starting to recover from the judicial uncertainty left by the GIL councils. Since then the municipality has had to comply with the plan which came into force back in 1986. The most obvious consequence of this was that many developers decided to build elsewhere in the area, forming the so-called Golden Triangle between Benahavís, Estepona and Marbella. Estate agencies warn that this has had a negative effect. "There have been many new developments in the nearby areas in recent years, especially Estepona and Benahavís. In Marbella itself, it is more difficult to find them," says Smadar Kahana, managing director of Engel & Völkers on the Golden Mile.
Nevertheless, Marbella's councillor for Town Planning, Kika Caracuel, says the council has worked very hard to guarantee legal security in the municipality.
"Since 2017 we have been working frenetically on this. We have approved the modified text of the Urban Plan, approved the adaptation of the 1986 version to meet LOUA land regulation laws and modified and approved local town planning regulations," she says, and the town has continued to receive applications for major projects as a result. Easing the application process has also helped. The council hopes the new PGOU will receive initial approval this year and come into force in 2023.
Meanwhile, development can now proceed in Torremolinos again as the suspension of most of its 2020 Urban Plan has now been lifted, although the site of the future Intu leisure park is still subject to the 1996 plan.
Deputy mayor and town planning councillor Maribel Tocón said this week that the council is very pleased that a court has ruled in its favour.