Salobreña’s old town is worthy of admiration; at the first light of dawn or in the evening when it is all lit up, it aches to be painted.
But living up there is far from practical, which is why more and more houses stand empty; their blinds down with no lights inside projecting signs of life. Instead of welcome mats hang For-Sale signs.
Shops are few and far between so residents have to go down to the lower town to do their shopping.
The original Spanish inhabitants have reached old age and have either died or moved to a flat in the new town because of poor mobility. The houses that were bought by foreigners, in most cases their picturesque facades have been restored but now stand empty most of the year.
The old town is bleeding out life and leaving only the ghost of its former self to haunt the once lively streets.
On top of that, if anybody wants to alter a house or dig out foundations then they are up against the Delegación de Cultura de la Junta who move at the speed of a striking sloth and have the reflexes of a dead rattlesnake. Thou shalt not pass, is their motto, it appears.
All this is why the Town Hall plans to do something about it; make it easier to open a business up there and make it easier to carry out home renovations, because at present you cannot touch the facade (without extensive reinforcement inside) or build an extension.
The proposed Plan Especial de Protección del Casco Histórico will also contemplate what to do with cars, both in traffic circulation and finding somewhere to park. Although the idea is to make it into pedestrian access only, they intend to do it slowly because a sudden change over would effectively be like smothering the patient with a pillow.
No, they want to provide parking areas, such as next to the Museo de Las flores so that you can reach the old town and thence after walk.
But it is not easy getting a modification to and existing PGOU (General Urban Development Plan) to accommodate a special plan for the protection of the history old town approved – Baza and Guadix both took twelve years to get one through, but Salobreña hopes to get it done much quicker.
(News: Salobrena, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)