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Marbella Beach Entrepreneurs Declare War on City Council: A Battle You Won’t Believe!

May 18, 2024
Marbella Beach Entrepreneurs Declare War on City Council: A Battle You Won't Believe! - mini1 1715901761 - Local Events and Festivities -

Marbella Beach Businesses Oppose Proposed Changes to Beach Plan

A hammock area on a beach in Marbella is at the center of a controversy. The Marbella City Council’s intention to abruptly modify the 2022-2025 Beach Plan is facing strong opposition from sector entrepreneurs. They have even formed an association and hired a prominent law firm to fight the proposed changes. The government team’s intentions are being rejected, and a heated summer is anticipated.

City Council’s Proposal for Changes

On March 20, the Marbella City Council submitted a request to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, and Blue Economy of the Regional Government to make a change in the 2022-2025 seasonal services exploitation plan. This is an exceptional approach to modify the regulations governing businesses on the municipality’s coastline, which was approved in June 2022.

Proposed Changes and Opposition

According to a document accessed by Marbella24horas, the changes have been requested only for this year 2024, as a new plan for the 2025-2028 cycle is intended to be approved. Specifically, the governing team of the PP proposes a reorganization of various lots of hammocks authorized in 2022. The list sent to the Regional Government proposes the elimination of 15 lots, while the space for another 32 will be reduced. There are 7 that they want to expand and even a request for the creation of a new one in Puerto Banús. They also want to eliminate three nautical areas in San Pedro, Río Verde, and Alicate.

Formation of Association and Legal Actions

The affected parties have formed the Association of Beach Establishments, Ports, and Nautical Activities of Marbella, whose president is Sergio Gutiérrez Mariscal. They have 123 members, a number they hope to continue expanding, mainly hammock operators, but also beach bar owners, owners of nautical areas, and the port. They have already taken two significant actions. On one hand, they have hired the law firm Martínez Echevarría for their legal defense. On the other hand, in early April, they requested a meeting with the mayor, a request that has not yet received any response.

Accusations of Privatization

At the heart of this issue, the hammock operators believe there is an attempt by the government team to “privatize” these services and hand them over to a company. They argue that the government wants to take away hammocks from people who rely on them for their livelihood and give them to luxury hotels. Gutiérrez believes they have forced this modification now because if they wait for the current Beach Plan to conclude after the summer of 2025, they would be dealing with the new plan very close to the municipal elections.

Legal Objections and Future Implications

Legally, the Martínez Echevarría law firm has already submitted a document to the Regional Government in which this association clearly states its opposition to the modification of the current Beach Plan. They believe that “there is no motivation whatsoever” to do so and that the necessary economic-financial study is not accompanied, among other aspects. This controversy, another one in the municipality, is served, and the mayor and her Beach Councilor, Diego López, are going to face strong rejection to carry out their plans, which, according to this group, is to privatize beach services.

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