After several years in the pipeline, the Junta de Andalucía regional government has finally given its approval to the future park in Las Lagunas, Mijas. This will be the largest in the province of Malaga when construction is completed - with initial sights set on 2023.
This park was proposed by the council during the previous term of office and is now one of the main projects of the PSOE and Ciudadanos coalition.
Its path so far has not been easy. Various key aspects had to be analysed in detail by the regional Agriculture, Fisheries and Sustainable Development ministry and have taken years to resolve, but now all approvals are in place.
"This is one of the most important projects of recent years for our municipality, at it will become a benchmark for the Costa del Sol," mayor Josele González told SUR on Wednesday.
The park, which has been given a budget of 20 million euros, will cover almost 350,000 square metres (twice as big as the nearby La Paloma park in Benalmádena). Of that around 110,000 square metres will be reserved for woods and garden areas.
The council's intention is to put this project out to tender in the first months of 2021, which could see work beginning in the coming year.
"It is a project of great importance that will generate jobs and wealth during its construction and later will become one of the biggest tourist attractions of our town," said the councillor for Public Works, José Carlos Martín.
Neither the mayor nor the councillor would be drawn on an exact date, but with an estimated 18-month construction schedule, the park could open to the public by mid-2023.
The project will involve the construction of two access roundabouts, car parks and a boating lake with a bridge. The area also has to be made floodproof.
When finished, the park will boast a running track around the perimeter, a cycle path, skating rink, a climbing wall, an extensive children's play area, outdoor games tables, as well as a pétanque area.
The architectural style will be typically Andalusian with several references to symbols of Mijas, including the famous donkey taxi and Arabic tiles. These symbols will be present on fountains, kiosks and a pavilion.
Among the most striking features of the park will be an open-air theatre for concerts, plays and other performances.