The hotel is currently scheduled to reopen in April 2024. | Joan Lladó


The Hotel Formentor, where were we? Ah yes, waiting for the latest announcement from the Balearic environment ministry. A couple of months ago, the ministry was expressing its alarm about modifications to the project, “which we have never been aware of and which have therefore not been evaluated”. The ministry was referring to the complete demolition and reconstruction and the impact of this on Red Natura land; there was also the business about the alleged dumping of waste.
The directorate for natural spaces and biodiversity is now of the view that the project “will not appreciably affect” protected areas by the hotel that come under Red Natura 2000, the nature network in the Balearics that grants one form of protection; there are several.

Opposition parties at the town hall and environmentalists GOB who have objected to the work that is being carried out, as complete demolition had not been the initial intention, and to impacts caused by the work, such as the waste, will not be able to challenge the ministry’s finding that there is “no direct relationship” with the management of Red Natura areas. There can be no appeal. With the report, Pollensa town hall will now be able to leap the final legal hurdle - the processing and granting of the hotel reconstruction licence.

Assuming that there are no more interventions, the hotel is currently scheduled to reopen in April 2024.

Pollensa election - a family affair

On learning that Martí March will cease to be the Balearic education minister, one union expressed its satisfaction with the news, saying that March has not been prone to dialogue. This less than ringing endorsement contrasted with March’s stated intention “to work with all residents on social policies that will not leave anyone out”.

The future ex-minister was referring to his aim to extend the March family political dynasty in Pollensa. He bears the same name as his father, who was twice mayor between 1979 and 1991. One of his brothers is Miquel Àngel March, the leader of Junts Avançam, who was mayor from 2015 to 2019 and who will not be standing at this May’s election.

Junts are being dismantled. The component parties will put themselves forward for election on their separate tickets. PSOE, Martí March’s party, is one of these components. “After the past four years, it is clear that Pollensa needs a change,“ he remarked when it was confirmed that he will be running for mayor. Change implies a shift leftwards and to PSOE specifically. The election will mean two of Pollensa’s most prominent families once more locking horns - March versus Tomeu Cifre of Tots.

The Can Picafort everyone wants

Letting it be known that 6.5 million euros are to be allocated to work in Can Picafort might seem as if this investment has something to do with the election. Surely not. Residents were meanwhile invited to the mayoral presentation of three projects in question with the promise of “come and participate, we want to know your opinion” -the all-listening Santa Margalida town hall.

Under the slogan of ‘The Can Picafort we want’, Joan Monjo explained that the 6.5 million will go on renewing two avenues - Anglesos and Golf - and another part of the Passeig Colon. The latter may well not to be totally to everyone’s liking as it will entail the uprooting of more palm trees; the first project for the Passeig Colon (2016 and 2017) led to the removal of 32 trees. Still, there are some other advantages to all the planned work for making a “friendlier environment” that will help to “transform” Can Picafort - a couple of new car parks. Helpful. The mayor has otherwise been courting his occasional controversy by once again highlighting the illustrious son status of the Santa Margalida smuggler-turned-banker Joan March. At last week’s council meeting, the portrait of March was hanging directly behind the mayor. It had replaced the portrait of engineer Feliciano Fuster.

The mayor explained that there is now a rotation system for positioning the portraits of the nine illustrious sons of the municipality. Joan March’s will be where it is for two months. Reaction from councillors to the prominence given to ‘Franco’s banker’ included “shameful”, “shocking” and “provocation”. Illustrious son status was given to March in 1956, although he never formally accepted it. The distinction was forgotten about until documentation in the municipal archive came to light in 2013.