The future of the cement factory in La Araña is guaranteed, thanks to Malaga city hall giving the definitive green light on Monday to the urban development plan that endorses the extension of the installations was carried out more than a decade ago.
The motion was passed with eight votes in favour from Partido Popular (PP), Ciudadanos and the independent councillor Juan Cassá, with seven votes against from socialist PSOE and Unidas Podemos parties.
The processing of this urban development plan is the result of the 'war' between residents of the El Candado residential area which neighbours the factory to the east of Malaga and the cement factory. They argue that the factory has a detrimental effect on the atmosphere.
Advised by the lawyer Gonzalo García Weil, they have achieved several victories in the courts, which went so far as to declare null and void the permits granted by the city council more than 15 years ago for the extension of the factory, which included the construction of a chimney more than 100 metres high.
The courts declared the construction illegal eight years ago and Malaga city council initiated the processing of a special plan for the land belonging to the factory, which has now obtained the final approval of the city hall.
This plan gives approval for the 115-metre-high chimney, which was backed by a report from the regional government, which in turn stated that "thanks to the height of the chimney, greater energy efficiency is achieved, with a consequent reduction in emissions, as well as a better dispersion of pollutants. Consequently, the landscape impact of such a chimney must be considered together with another positive impact on air quality".
Malaga’s urban planning department has given the go-ahead for the final approval of the special plan for the La Araña cement factory, despite the fact that the regional coastal department has requested a second report before it is built asking for changes to be made to the plan.
However, the city hall’s technicians argue that this second audit should not be carried out because it would mean "interfering in the administrative procedure established by the regional legislation and suspending the processing of the present dossier once again when this is no longer possible".