Last week Marbella council approved changes to the boundary with Benahavís that appeared to tidy up some anomalies with various urbanizations in the zone.
Now it has emerged that the mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, has given herself an early Christmas present. Before the lines were redrawn and approved the mayor’s home at Cerro del Colorado was in Marbella and illegal because the zone is non-urban under the 1986 PGOU. However by moving her home in to Benahavís it has been included in a zone that is for urban development as set out in that municipality’s 1992 local development plan.
This is a manipulation of the town planning boundaries that would have made Marbella’s notorious former mayor, the late Jesús Gil y Gil, proud. It must also leave a bitter taste in the throats of the residents of Marbella whose illegal homes could face demolition or uncertainty in 2009 whilst their mayor has overnight moved from illegal to legal home status.
The deal to redraw the boundaries was hatched between Muñoz and her Benahavís counterpart Antonio Mena, both members of the Partido Popular. When the new boundaries came before Marbella’s council for approval it received only the votes of the Partido Popular who have a controlling majority.
Needless to say the measure has been met with anger and disbelief by the socialist opposition. Marbella’s councillor for town planning, Alba Echevarría, tried to explain it away as being a problem that the two municipalities have faced since 1874 that has now been tidied up.
An act of municipal housekeeping or making an illegal urbanization legal? The opposition already has its view and it now remains to be seen how the news goes down amongst the people of Marbella, especially those who bought illegal homes in good faith but face the future with fear and uncertainty.