Staff Reporter
WORK started yesterday on the city's new green belt project, which has been divided into four stages, because of its size.
The council has started with Zone B, the most important part of the green belt. This part will cover an area of 120'000 square metres, stretching from the bridge of Es Fortí to the cemetery roundabout.

Deputy Mayor Javier Rodrigo de Santos, who is in charge of the planning department, said that this stage will cost about 30 million euros, half of which will be provided by the city council, and will be used mainly for expropriations. The rest will be provided by the central ministry of the environment.

Work which started yesterday involves cleaning up and preparing the bed of Sa Riera, the water course which runs down the centre of the Paseo Mallorca. It will continue in mid-May, after the April fair ends, to level the ground.

The Camino de Jesus will eventually be widened, from the roundabout at the cemetery to Es Forti, adding two lanes to the two already in existence, and an underground carpark with 350 places will be built. This is expected to start in the first quarter of 2005.

The new green belt of Palma will eventually cover an area of 240'000 square metres and will stretch for 1.5 kilometres from the Institutos to the ring road.

The green belt is one of the star projects of the Palma city council, and 80 percent of the land needed has already been expropriated.
The design was selected from among 22 projects submitted in a competition in 2002, although the idea of a green belt in the area was already under consideration in the development plan of 1985.

This first stage of the green belt will include an open-air theatre which can be used for plays, concerts or film shows.
The remaining stages will affect areas of 61'000, 47'000 and 46'000 square metres.
The total cost of the green belt will be in the region of 87 million euros.
Work will be carried out in such a way that the Easter fair will be able to occupy its usual site every year.


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