The redevelopment of the Hotel Formentor involves a complicated process of approvals from different bodies, the latest of which is the Council of Mallorca's tourism department.
Pollensa's deputy mayor for urban planning, Tomeu Cifre, explained at Thursday night's council meeting that the tourism department will now have to rule on what has become the complete demolition of the hotel and on the plans for redevelopment. The department has been brought into the equation because of transfer of responsibilities from the Balearic government's tourism ministry, which gave its approval for redevelopment and expansion and therefore enabledPollensa town hall to grant licences in June 2021 and May 2022.
There are two licences. One relates to the hotel building itself (the redevelopment) and the other to expansion of facilities in the hotel grounds. These will, for instance, include a spa. The expansion was permitted as it was in line with Balearic government emergency measures to boost economic activity early in the pandemic.
Opposition parties at the town hall believe that the demolition and redevelopment do not comply with municipal licences, this having become more of an issue than it already was since Cifre confirmed some three weeks ago that there had been total demolition.
The deputy mayor defends the town hall's position by highlighting the fact that total demolition was necessary because of problems with the foundations of the hotel and with aluminosis that was undermining the structure.
The point is, though, and as the opposition have stressed, that the project which was presented to the government's tourism ministry and to the town hall referred to "the demolition of different existing buildings to comply with urban planning regulations". It didn't refer to comprehensive demolition.
The hotel's owners, who are essentially the Emin Capital investment fund which specialises in the luxury hospitality sector, have told the employees (who are being paid while redevelopment is being carried out) that all the work is legal. They wanted the opportunity to explain the situation to the opposition parties, but these parties refused to attend a meeting.
A modified project will now have to obtain the relevant reports from both the town hall and the Council of Mallorca's tourism department.