The administrative procedure which will enable Marbella council to occupy and use the area and buildings around the lighthouse is now almost complete. It just needs the Malaga Port Authority to give the official go-ahead to the proposal put to it by the local authority’s Beaches and Environment Department.
Under the conditions for the concession, which both parties have accepted, the council will be granted the use of the site for a period of ten years, which can be extended a number of times up to a maximum of five years.
The documentation sent to the council by the Port Authority agrees that the main building will be occupied and managed by the Agenda Urbana Marbella 2030 company, as part of the sustainable development objective established by the United Nations Assembly.
Specifically, the concession gives the council the right to use the plot of land on which the lighthouse stands, which is 2,125.55 square metres in size, and the adjoining annexes, which used to be homes and stores, and are 364.70 square metres.
The lighthouse itself is excluded, because it will continue to be used for maritime safety purposes, and an access to it is also not included in the concession.
Marbella council has been trying to acquire this concession for some time. It made the application early last year, and councillor Manuel Cardeña says the plan is to use the site for cultural activities including a marine museum and an open-air exhibition area.
There will also be offices for the Agenda Urbana Marbella 2030 company, which will be responsible for designing and implementing policies which are to be developed in Marbella over the next decade, in accordance with new sustainable development objectives which have been proposed for towns at a world level.
In its application, the council asked for the concession to be granted free of charge or for a reasonably low fee, and explained that it wanted to manage the site itself because it will be used for cultural activities or to promote tourism.
In June last year, the head of the Works and Conservation division of the Port Authority issued a favourable report on the basic works project presented by the town hall, which had a budget of just under 700,000 euros to transform the spaces in question. However, the application for the concession to be granted free of charge was not accepted, because the initiative does not conform to those included in the revised text of the Law of State Ports and the Merchant Navy.
Nevertheless, the Malaga Port Authority was able to approve a 50 per cent reduction in the occupancy fee because the same law states that this is possible when the owner of the concession or authorisation is a public administration and the aim is to use the facilities for social or cultural activities. The council will therefore have to pay 45,086.98 euros excluding IVA for the concession.
The town hall’s plans were drawn up last year by the Augado firm of architects, and the works should take about a year to complete. They include creating an outdoor exhibition area with pergolas, gardens, waterfalls and seating. The smallest building will house the Aula del Mar marine museum, and the larger one will be used as offices.
Once the concession comes into force, Marbella council will be responsible for maintaining the facilities in perfect order and will have to pay for any repairs.
The Port Authority will have the right to carry out inspections at any time and order the local authority to carry out any repairs it deems necessary at its own cost and within the time period designated.