The ‘Detunda’ Botanical Garden at the Nerja Caves (Detunda being the Roman name for Maro) took three years to complete, cost over three million euros of European funds and was completed at the beginning of 2015. A nice place for a stroll? Who knows, because it has still not opened to the public.

One would have thought that, with so much time spent on planning – proposals, draft projects, redrafts, ante-projects, actual projects – and the almost endless bureaucracy to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’, once something was finally finished it would open for use. However, this rarely seems to be the case.

There are numerous Health Centres, car parks, gardens etc etc which have long been completed but remain closed or unused. Once something has been completed, numerous ‘administrative’ or ‘technical’ issues seem to arise which prevent any further progress, often for years.

Locally we have had the Nerja Museum, the bridge from the Caves to the village of Maro (only just opened!), car parks, the Botanical Gardens and the long-awaited and planned Fire Station (and probably more besides) suffering these administrative or technical delays, some lasting years.

The Fire Station was completed but someone forgot to put a ‘gate’ in the project, the opening of a car park was once delayed for quite some time because it had taken so long to build that the technical requirements for electrical installations had changed in the meantime.

From what one reads, delays in opening are the norm throughout the country. Nothing is ever built and then opens shortly thereafter, and some things apparently never actually open.

Not that it matters all that much for many local authorities as it is the actual construction itself that generates municipal revenue. In addition, many projects – such as the Botanical Gardens – use European funding, so it’s not really their own money that is being wasted.