When Marbella’s 2010 PGOU (town plan) was rejected by Spain’s Supreme Court in 2015, it left the construction sector somewhat in limbo just as it was picking up after the economic crisis. The granting of building licences became a long and frustrating process, with lengthy lead times from the presentation of a project to its final approval.

The process was ameliorated towards the end of 2017 when the previous 1986 town plan was ratified for use as a temporary measure until a brand new plan could be devised. Even better news has since been conveyed with the announcement by the Mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, that 2018 will see one of the main goals of the town council being the reduction in time taken to grant licences.

Previously, entrepreneurs and developers were constrained to wait up to a year and a half to receive news of their petition to build, however, the recent announcement means that this period will be reduced to nine months initially, with the ultimate objective being to reduce it further to three to four months, with acknowledgment of receipt being issued in less than fifteen days.

The mayor recognises that speeding up and streamlining the urban planning department gives a great boost to the local economy both directly and indirectly, and she is keen to aid and encourage growth in this sector.

Other projects expected to commence in 2018 include plans to improve and modernise the Golden Mile, as well as a tender process for public transport. The ongoing enhancement and expansion of the Marbella section of the Paseo Marítimo (the beachside promenade) will continue too, with the ultimate goal that when finished it will be the longest seaside path in the world, stretching from Nerja to Manilva along 163 kilometres of coastline.

Marbella entrepreneurs will be delighted with the latest news, as will local residents and visitors who will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this shot in the arm to the Marbella economy.