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Controversial hotel tower in Malaga port given green light by city council
Planning

Controversial hotel tower in Malaga port given green light by city council

The hotel and conference centre development, funded by Qatari money, was approved after six votes in favour and four against at an urban planning council meeting

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Tuesday, 21 November 2023

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Malaga's Torre del Puerto project has been given the green light locally after city hall councillors voted in favour of it this week.

The planned luxury 116-metre tall hotel development, funded by Qatari investment fund Al Alfia in collaboration with the Hesperia hotel chain, will be built on the esplanade of the Levante dock.

The process, which has been dragged out for five years, was finally put to bed in the city this week after the urban planning committee gave it their official approval at a meeting this week. It went ahead with six votes in favour and four against: Partido Popular councillors voted for the development, while four votes against came from the Socialists and one from Podemos - Vox abstained.

A protest group 'Let's Defend Our Horizon' has opposed the project since the beginning, claiming the "eyesore" will spoil the skyline of Malaga city. UMA art history professor Francisco Rodríguez Marín also opposed the tower, warning its height will obstruct the view of an historic lighthouse in the area, La Farola de Malaga. The hotel will also block out the lighthouse's spotlight in the dark, he added. But the city hall deemed no risk of the hotel causing an interference with the lighthouse.

Socialists' strong rejection

Mariano Ruiz Araújo, spokesperson for the Socialists, challenged the national government to stop it and said: "I am convinced that it will end up in the courts because it is a savagery to benefit only a few private investors," he said. The party's secretary general Daniel Pérez said: "The Levante dock is not the place for this skyscraper".

Spokesperson for Podemos Toni Morillas said her group is going to put "sticks in the wheel" to try and stop the hotel's construction. Vox councillor Antonio Alcázar decided to abstain, because, although they agree with the hotel being built, they want it constructed on a different site.

What happens next?

Now, the administrative application fle will return to the Port Authority of Malaga, which will have to process it before State Ports at a national level; and this, in turn, will elevate it to the Ministry of Transport. If necessary, this will be the body who will advise the government's Cabinet for its final approval.

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