The existing parking spaces to the north of the marina in central Marbella are to disappear and the area will become a pedestrian boulevard in the next stage of the project to open up the port to the rest of the town.
For some time business owners in the marina have been calling for changes to be made so that the port becomes a continuation of the seafront promenade, and the plans have now been sent to the regional government's port agency, (APPA), for approval.
Marbella council now has to decide how to make up for the lack of parking within the port area, and three alternatives are being considered: the Francisco Norte area, the Alameda or, says the councillor for Beaches and the Port, Manuel Cardeña, "we could reserve a certain number of parking spaces in the nearest blue zone for use by vehicles from the port".
The contract for the new boulevard has already been put out to tender and the local authority hopes the works will begin early next year, to avoid inconvenience during the peak tourist season.
The project also includes redesigning the roundabout at the access to the port, so that it is moved 65 centimetres further to the west. Its size will also be reduced. The central street lamp will be removed and the pedestal of the Virgen del Carmen statue will also be redesigned.
The project to incorporate the port more directly into the town is particularly complicated because there is a three-metre difference in height between the promenade and the marina. The architects have to design the interior of the port in such a way that the space is attractive to visit and has no physical barriers to mobility.