Staff Reporter
THE Balearic government will spend five million euros in improvements to the Port of Soller, in an operation which will take two years.
But although work is not due to start until next winter, residents have expressed their concern at work which is already being carried out on the front line. They say that they have not been informed as to what is being done and they are afraid that new buildings will be put up in the Santa Catalina area.
They have asked the council for full details of the operation.
They have started to set up a neighbourhood association to defend their interests, and have called on the council to respect a place as emblematic as the district of Santa Catalina. Last year, the environment ministry, headed by then minister Margalida Rossello, demolished four buildings which formed part of the former military installations, built in the mid-20th century and which isolated the front line of the Santa Catalina district. The ministry planned to improve the esplanade as an area for public use and had hoped to finance the operation with the tourist tax, which has now been repealed. The new government plans to use its own resources to improve the Port.
It is six years since the central defence ministry ceded the former naval base to the Balearic government.
Since then, the various local governments have carried out isolated projects, but the planning and expansion of the port has not been tackled.
But, according to Cristofol Huguet, the director general for shores, this project will now be carried out in two years.
It will include improvements to the fishing wharf, with better amenities for the fishing fleet.
There will be a passenger terminal for people who use the golondrinas (excursion boats).
Huguet said that at present, the situation is chaotic, and the layout of the area will be made more efficient.
There will be extra mooring facilities for yachts, although Huguet did not specify how many new berths there would be.
In the past, yachts have moored in the centre of the port, making it difficult for the fishing fleet to enter or leave.

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