Local News (29th March 2018)

Riverside Forest in the Making

The Government has overseen the planting of no less than 6,855 trees on river banks to recover the forests on the island of Mallorca. The project, which costs €59,282, and was paid for by the sustainable tourism tax, was executed during the months of January and February.

One of the forest species in the riverside environments and most historically present in the islands were elm trees. Obliterated during the 1980s and 90s due to fungal disease, the tree all but disappeared from the Balearics. Environment Minister, Vicenç Vidal, visited the Natural Park of s’Albufera  and could see the work that’s been done. He told press, that the riverside forest “is one of the most unique ecosystems of the Mediterranean. These vegetal formations, especially constituted by deciduous species, have occupied the boundaries of river courses and fresh water from torrents, ramblas, rafts, reservoirs, etc., and generate very important environmental and ecological functions, such as the regulation of aquifers, the increase of biodiversity or the improvement of landscape…”

Vice President Busquets emphasizes the ability to act jointly with the local administrations and explained that this project “has had a contribution of capital collected by the tax of sustainable tourism.” She added that, “this tax is about generating shared prosperity, the prosperity that tourism generates has to be reversed later in projects that value the environment.”


Sand Sharing

The mayors of Alcúdia, Muro and Santa Margalida are coming together to regenerate the beaches of Can Picafort and Muro with the excess sand that is gathering on the beach in Alcudia. 

It’s apparent that the beach of Alcúdia (especially the area of the Xara) has accumulated excess sand in the last five years while those of Can Picafort and Muro have lost it, it’s visible but it has also been confirmed by a University study. The causes are down to urban changes (construction of ports for example) and the dynamics of the coast, among other factors. The accumulation of sand causes various problems, one of which is the stacking of dead (and smelly) posidonia on the beach. In 2017 no less than 400 trucks of seaweed were taken away. 

The mayors have already presented their project, and they now need an environmental impact study from the Ministry of the Environment.

Water Levels

After the foulest and wettest of weekends, it will come as no surprise that the reservoirs are practically full. Indeed, with the collection of 325 cubic metres of water, levels have risen to 98%. What is surprising is that before the weekend, the levels were at 70%. The 28% rise is the same as the rise in the previous three months. 

In Cúber, capacity was at 102% with the overflow heading to the Almadrá Torrent. To take advantage of the excess, water is being extracted from the reservoirs and the Lloseta potabilization plant has started up. 


Rapper Controversy in Alcudia

In February, a Mallorcan rapper known as Voltanyc was sentenced to 3.5 years for inciting terrorism and criticizing the King. His song lyrics suggested that Jorge Campos, nationalist leader and head of the Circulo Balear Foundation, “deserved a nuclear bomb,” and “Monarchy is his ideology ... I’ll see you in the Royal Palace with a Kalashnikov...”. He told El Espanol, “All I’ve said about the King, is in the media ... so which insults are we talking about if everything was already published in newspapers?” 

The case has now entered the local political arena as El Pi and the PP councillors in Alcudia voted last week to reject a motion presented by the PSOE and Gent for Alcúdia that urged the City to demand the annulment of the judicial sentence. Both El Pi and the PP stated they are in favour of freedom of expression, but judicial decisions should be complied with. The PSOE spokesman, Pere Malondra, opened the debate denouncing the “decline in fundamental rights” in the Spanish State and described the jail sentence as a “barbarity”. 

The PSOE, Gent for Alcúdia, Union for Alcúdia and Guanyem Alcúdia voted for the motion but ultimately, it was rejected with ten votes against from El Pi and PP.


Ternelles: Resolved?

A recent ruling by the High Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands (TSJB) has confirmed that the municipality of Pollensa is the institution responsible for authorizing visits to the Ternelles estate because it remains the holder of the passage leading to Cala Castell. The council is obviously happy with the outcome which, they say “confirms all municipal views”. For several weeks, the company that manages the estate has prevented hikers from entering despite having permits from the council. They have just allowed access to the Fundación Vida Silvestre Mediterránea. 

The Council is hoping the property will respect the TSJB’s decision but all the signs show that the administrator of the farm will file an appeal. One paper presented to the TSJB by the Ternelles estate has requested that the Council urgently adapts to the General Plan for Urban Planning (PGOU) to the Plan for the Management of Natural Resources (PORN) of the Serra de Tramuntana, one of the requirements imposed by the Supreme Court to the council in April 2017. The TSJB is giving the council three months to deliver documentation concerning the PGOU adaptation, but it has made it clear that the municipal institution “is sovereign” when it comes to managing its own urban planning. 


Frontline Opened

Last week, the partial reopening to traffic on the front line of Puerto Pollensa marked the beginning of the end of the pedestrianization project. From now on, the cars will be only be allowed on the frontline between 6am-5pm. From the early evening to early morning the road is exclusively for pedestrians. When cars travel on the semi-pedestrianized road, the speed limit is 20km per hour. In announcing the reopening, the council thanked the residents’ patience during the construction period and urged everyone to adapt to the new arrangement.


Capri Pier Controversy

Environmental group, the GOB, has denounced the construction of an “illegal” dock in Puerto Pollensa and demanded the “immediate stop” and the removal of the structure.

They claim that the 20-m long jetty does not comply with coastal, environmental and urban regulations; “it appears that no concession has been processed or granted by the Ministry of Environment nor has there been any study of the environmental impact that these works can produce on the coast of the Albercuix beach and in the rest of the Bay.” 

On the other hand, it would appear that the Hotel has a duty of maintenance on the jetty due to an old concession.