Finally, there is some progress with Marbella’s town planning applications. The Partido Popular (PP) councillors, with support from its OSP-San Pedro partners, voted at the end of September to approve the use of the 1986 PGOU with some adaptations, including the correction of 12 mistakes that were spotted in the period since April 2017.
The 1986 plan now needs to be legalised and put into operation while Marbella council works on drawing up a new master town plan. As some will remember, the 2010 plan was overturned in court in 2015, which created a void that new property developers found difficult to navigate.
In addition to enabling new planning applications, the vote also gave new autonomy to San Pedro, including extra fiscal autonomy, which the district mayor for San Pedro Alcántara, Rafael Piña applauded. This was a condition of OSP’s deal with PP to secure leadership of the Marbella council. The mayor announced that from now on all areas of council activity, except rubbish collection and local police will be controlled by San Pedro’s town hall and not by Marbella town hall. It also means that for the first time, San Pedro council will have the right to contract staff and award council grants. It is thought that other districts of Marbella will attain similar powers to those granted to San Pedro.
This move to resolve the PGOU is vital for the future of the resort and it was one of the issues Marbella mayor Angeles Muñoz vowed to tackle when she addressed Marbella’s business leaders shortly after taking office again. It will be warmly welcomed by property developers and firms in the construction industry, who will finally be able to process applications and begin new projects in a more streamlined manner.