Local councillors in Manilva have given their approval to a plan to protect and enhance the coastal fort known as 'El Castillo de La Duquesa' and the area around it.
The land surrounding the eighteenth-century building was given 'asset of cultural interest' (BIC) listed status in 2005 by the Junta de Andalucía. A significant amount of archaeological remains have been discovered there.
For the last ten years the council has had a special planning document for its long-term conservation on the drawing board, which is required as part of the BIC designation. All development in the area has been on hold until the plan was agreed.
Final approval had been delayed over problems with the water supply to the area. A meeting between the former mayor and Junta water officials last year resolved the issue and succeeded in unblocking the plan.
The cost of putting the plan into action is estimated to be five million euros. Most of this will be met by the council, although 750,000 euros will come from the Junta and around 800,000 from developers.
Commenting on the vote, town planning councillor, Antonio Barragán explained that a museum will be opened in the castle to bring together the different archaeological finds, which include items from Roman villas, fish processing plants and burial sites.
The planning document clarifies where building can take place and local councillors are hoping that more social housing can now be built in the vicinity.