The controversial fence being installed at the new megayacht marina in Malaga / SALVADOR SALAS

Fence of new megayacht marina in Malaga draws a wave of criticism

The Port Authority has said that only the last 180 metres near the lighthouse will be closed off

IGNACIO LILLO

The installation of a security fence in the new marina for megayachts in Malaga’s port is being criticised by the people who regularly walk in the area. Social media has been flooded with photos of the ongoing works and how the fence will affect the views of the dock and the city. And a petition entitled “No to the fences of the port of Malaga” has been launched on change.org by Alberto Álvarez de Perea.

“Having this beautiful panoramic view of the city is very valuable to us,” says the Social Security worker who started the petition. “I understand that the yachts will bring in money, but the people who live here and tourists want to be closer to the sea, to be able to touch it and admire all the sites of the city.”

A delegate of the College of Civil Engineers in Malaga , Ángel García Vidal, who headed the work to rescue the young boy Julen from the bottom of a well in Totalán in 2019, is among those who have raised their voices.

“I understand there is a need for security but there are options to this. Something translucent would be much more accessible,” he said and added: “If the mega-rich do not want to be seen, they can set up their own screen on the deck. I don’t wish to see their boats, but the enclosure has to allow the city of Malaga to be seen.”

In response to these complaints, the president of the Port Authority, Carlos Rubio, has promised that only the final section of the port will be closed. This means the part closest to the lighthouse with an extension of 180 metres. This is because of international maritime safety standards, since the largest ships will be tethered out there and the owners demand these measures.

The rest of the fence will be decorative and allow pedestrians to walk along by the water and continue to enjoy the views. In addition, he said that the height of the fence is to be lowered after agreeing with the concession holder of the megayacht marina. Sources close to the project have confirmed that the height of the structure has been lowered so it will be a maximum of two metres, including the support. They also point out that the white bars that can be seen at the moment are not the final product. The structure will be covered in plants to make the promenade appear more natural and greener.

Block the views of the city

It has been pointed out by some that the visual impact of the boats expected to dock in Malaga from Easter will be even greater than that of the fence.

A hospitality manager who works in the Muelle Uno commercial and leisure area expressed his concern. The worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “It is true that the yachts will catch people's eye and can draw crowds, but they will completely block the views of the city when docked parallel to the quay. They should be perpendicular, not parallel as it is now. They will block everything.