The Plaza Mayor complex will have two new areas added on. / SUR

Plaza Mayor shopping centre expansion plan moves a step closer

An environmental impact study has been approved by the Junta but Malaga's master town plan will need to be changed first

JESÚS HINOJOSA MALAGA.

A new extension to the popular Plaza Mayor shopping and leisure centre close to Malaga Airport, which was announced over a year ago, has taken a further step towards becoming reality as the Junta de Andalucía has given the thumbs up to the findings of a study into the environmental impact of the project.

The owners of Plaza Mayor plan to invest 105 million euros in the extension, which they say will create 500 new jobs.

Malaga's urban masterplan will have to be modified to allow the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, which occupies part of the site, to be extended by 14,000 square metres to the east, taking up part of what is currently the car park of the Mercadona supermarket.

Likewise, the rest of the main Plaza Mayor shopping centre will grow by 7,500 square metres to the west, occupying part of the parking areas beside the MA-20 motorway. New underground parking spaces will be created to compensate for those lost at ground level.

Malaga council will receive 3.8 million euros in exchange for the planning permission for this extension and the city will gain a new 53,725-square-metre park in between Plaza Mayor and the San Julián district, close to the Cercanías railway line, which will be paid for by Plaza Mayor and include a football pitch.

The plans also include improvements to the service roads around the shopping centre, such as making the Camino de Guadalmar wider between the golf course and the roundabout at the entrance to the Guadalmar residential area.

The developers are confident that the town plan can be modified in time for building work to begin in mid-2023.