To build or not to build

Do we need more new homes? Photo: Malaga 360

Euro Weekly News received some feedback recently from a reader living on the Costa Del Sol. Barbara from Estepona asks: “Why are so many properties being allowed to be built when the infastructure just cannot take it. With the lack of water at the moment why are new properties being built when we are starting to have restrictions. They must stop these building works until we start having some substantial rain”.

It is estimated that there is currently at least €600 million worth of new construction in the pipeline, i.e, building under way or with planning already granted. In a similar vein, the most recent census predicts the population of the Western Costa del Sol to increase by around 300,000 in the next decade.

We need investment

In a recent statement, the President of Malaga Provincial Council, Francisco Salado, spoke of the urgency of improving mobility and water resources, “we need investment from the State in infrastructure”, said Salado.

There are plans to bring in water by boats from other regions in Spain and add new pipelines to connect the supply network to less drought-stricken areas. Meanwhile, Estepona is activating its plan against the drought with the installation of two desalination plants, one taking water from boreholes and the other from the sea. The Town Hall expects them to be operational before the summer.

However, nobody in government appears to be discussing what many see as ‘the elephant in the room’: there are more new homes being built than there is infrastructure to cope with a further influx of both tourists and full-time residents.

Too much traffic

It’s not just water that is the problem. The president of the Association of Hotel Businesses of the Costa del Sol (AEHCOS), José Luque, said, “the A-7 motorway has been too small for years to absorb the high level of urban and interurban traffic. If we do not take action, the growth of the entire Costa de Sol will be held backby the high saturation of its roads”.

Of course, construction brings investment and employment to the Costa del Sol. The construction sector directly employs over 60,000 in Malaga province, a large proportion of the total Andalucia workforce. So, the question is: should there be a temporary stop on building new homes, at least until the reservoirs are replenished or is it simply a question of increasing investment in the infrastructure?

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.