The desire for a large supermarket in Soller has gone on for years... | Archives


Soller people are restless, quizzical and in some cases plain angry. We have a piece of land on the Industrial Estate in Soller which is among the last pieces where ‘infill housing’ could be built. This has rumbled on for years and some Sollerics even put down a holding deposit on the idea. The 24 apartments were designed for older, local people, and priced accordingly. One friend, who was the first to put her deposit down, told me recently that her money had been returned as the project was not going to happen after all.

This land is owned by the Ministry of Defence, and they have been trying to sell for years. Three times it has been advertised with no interest, even though the price became lower each time. Behind the scenes chatter was going on and last week it was announced that a Hiper Centro Supermarket had bought the land for a three-storey shop, including an underground car park. The people living next door to this plan are horrified they knew nothing about it till the deal was already done.

Many who follow our stories will know the desire for a large supermarket in Soller has gone on for years. Our 13,500 resident population must leave the Valley for a ‘large’ shopping experience. The community is divided between those that think we have all we need on our doorstep to those who would appreciate not to have to leave the Valley for the “Big Shop”. The bigger consideration this week is that this land wasn’t snapped up by the Town Hall for local housing. The anger on this point is loud and has many questions for the current Mayor to answer. In an election year the groundswell of local opinion just will not go away.

The Soller Valley is ready for the influx of visitors coming our way. The early indications for March hotel reservations are excellent. It should be busy from the first day the hotels open their doors. A few more days of our winter life and then the game is on. Those who have used English and Mallorquin all winter slip back int their multilingual skills and all their languages come into use.

Tomatoes are a feature of our lives and appear in many of the dishes we cook. We take them for granted and many of us grow our own with enough to spare to sun-dry the glut. A North London friend has been in touch to say that tomatoes can’t be had for love nor money in her neck of the woods. Tomatoes and pears are particularly hard to find because of supply and delivery issues. What would we do here if we couldn’t get tomatoes?

Soller history is full of problems as to who, owns what. This is often a big issue to resolve when property comes up for sale. Currently we have a story about an Oratory in Puerto Soller. This building in the Santa Catalina area is used as the centre for the Third Age Groups of the area. It needs some maintenance and TLC including a new roof and air conditioning. It was while this was being processed it was realised that the ownership of the building was in doubt. Does it belong to the Ajuntament of Soller or to the Ports Authority? The answer is ‘The Ports’ and this came as a shock. Negotiations are beginning to get the deeds transferred to municipal hands and then, hopefully the necessary works can begin.

Every day a new story or ripple in the Soller Valley to discuss and its great to focus on the ‘small’ while the larger world goes mad. This doesn’t mean we are not interested in the bigger picture – far from it. It is just good for the soul to have the chatter of life as well as the awfulness.