THE environmental group GOB has complained that a firm has opened a road 400 metres long and four metres wide, using an excavator, through a forest area, when it only has permission to install a motor pump and fence off the water tank at Tancat de Sa Torre in Porto Colom. The coastal authority has also opened an investigation. The company was ordered to stop work on February 2, but yesterday it was reported that the excavator was still at work. The company could incur a fine of up to 30'000 euros. Mayor of Felanitx Catalina Soler confirmed that the company had a permit for minor works, based on a report from the coastal authority. Work is being carried out in an area known as S'Algar in Porto Colom, bordering with Calle Jaume III and S'Arenal. GOB claims that more than 1'000 square metres of shrub has been destroyed and nearly 500 square metres of rubble have been dumped around the water tank. The area is classified as a Natural Area of Special Interest under the Law on Natural Spaces.
WHILE the Es Fangar is still closed by barriers, preventing free access by the public, the Manacor town council is still promoting it as a tourist route for cyclists. The council's tourism office has been distributing catalogues promoting cycle routes at the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid. One of these routes goes through Es Fangar, offering a ride of 51 kilometres. The catalogue also advertises the beach at Cala Varques, even though the road to it is also closed.
Cameras in tunnel
WORK has started on the installation of closed circuit security cameras in the Soller Tunnel. The cost of the operation is 1.3 million euros, and work is due to be completed before Easter, at the end of March. At the moment, work is being carried out at night, to prevent inconvenience to tunnel users. It is a project of the Council of Majorca. Jordi Ferrer, the managing director of the tunnel, said that it was one of the biggest security operations on the island. It will be financed by users of the tunnel, he said.
THE owners of 3'500 hectares of land in the Tramuntana mountain range have given permission for their land to be include in the Natural Resources Plan which will define the protection of the mountains. Environment minister Jaume Font had the first round of talks with a group of landowners this week. He is due to hold more meetings over the coming weeks. Parliament is currently debating a new law on the preservation of the countryside, and it will offer various types of protection: natural park, natural reserve, natural monument, protected landscape, natural landscape and area of scientific interest. The latter two will be specific to the Balearics, while the others are already part of a nationwide law. Font hopes to win the backing of the owners of at least 51 per cent of the land his department wants to preserve. However, Fernando Fortuny, chairman of the owners association, said that they would be seeking financial aid to help preserve the land.
THE art and crafts market, organised by the town council's cultural department to promote local craft workers, is proving to be a magnet for people from all over the island. It is held in the Plaza Constitución on the first Saturday of every month, from 9am to 1pm. More than 70 crafts people from all over Majorca have confirmed that they will take part in today's market.
A consortium has been set up by the Balearic government and the town council to purchase the wetland of La Gola in the port of Pollensa, which will be protected and converted into a park. La Gola is a marsh covering an area of 7.53 hectares, with a direct link to the sea, but its ecology has been affected by urban pressure.
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