Staff reporter A COURT of Litigation has concluded that the Council of Majorca acted correctly in prohibiting the construction of a golf course at Son Ferrandell in the locality of Valldemossa. The Court arrived at its decision after examining an appeal by the promoter who had originally been licenced to build the sporting facility. The Council of Majorca however, had claimed that the licence had expired and the Court upheld the claim, rejecting the appeal of the building promoter.

The promoter had originally received an initial “go-ahead” to build a golf course in March of 1987, and, two years later, obtained the necessary licence for the project from the Valldemossa Town Council. In 1998, an Island Planning Committee decided to set about limiting the use of the licence granted 11 years earlier, by setting a time limit on the permit to build. The company appealed against the decision by arguing, amongst other reasons, that the Council of Majorca was not within its rights to classify the licence as being out of date. The firm also claimed that they (the company) had in no way shown disinterest or intention of abandoning the project for which the licence had initially been granted. It also purported that the licence had been withdrawn under different legal auspices than those prevailing in 1987.
The Court's ruling paid no heed to the arguments of the plaintiff, instead stipulating that the Council of Majorca were indeed within their rights to limit the operating period of the building licence. The Court said that the Council had withdrawn the expired licence “in the general interest” and that there had been no legal ambiguity about their right to do so. “The suspension (of the licence) took place on a date after 25th July, 1996 when nearly 10 years had passed since authorization for building the golf course had been given and something more than six years since the award of the official licence” added the sentencing Court body. The Court upheld its judgement that the Council of Majorca acted within its rights in rescinding the permit, although in principle, the Court recognised that the Council had also had the power to make any adjustments to the licence that it saw fit, in order to adjust it to changes in by-laws.