The prestigious multimillion-euro project to pedestrianise the centre of Torremolinos is on hold due to a lack of funds and political in-fighting.
The council’s first bid for €15m towards its star scheme was knocked back by Brussels, leaving the authority, which is €180m in debt, unable to continue.
Originally the area from Plaza Costa del Sol to Avenida Palma de Mallorca would have been refurbished and renovated with a boulevard feel for its stores, cafés and restaurants bringing in shoppers and the expected increase in tourists.
The failure to get the project off the ground is also a blow to the town’s plans for the area to become a permanent cultural and social hub with concerts, exhibitions and other events.
Planners put the total cost of the development which would include parts of Calle de la Cruz and Calle Hoyo, at nearly €19m.
But the realisation that municipal funds might have to be used has led to a split in the ranks of political support.
Many councillors consider there are more important schemes which require central funding.
Town Planning councillor Maribel Tocon said they had renewed their bid for European grant aid.
But even if the revised bid is successful any funding would not be forthcoming before late 2017.
Stressing the importance of the project, she described it as a “win-win which would increase income in the town.”