TRADERS along the Borne in Palma yesterday welcomed the city council's announcement that bars and cafeterias are going to be allowed to use the pedestrianised zone as a summer terrace.

The President of the Borne Traders Association, Carolina Domingo, said yesterday that her members “were very happy that the City Council has had the courage to take the step of altering what she considered to be “a really obsolete bylaw.” She added that the Borne “needs some life injected into it, especially after 8.30pm when everything seems to grind to a halt when the shops close.” Nevertheless, Domingo pointed out that the new rules being established will mean that bars and cafés with outside terraces will have to comply with a new set of opening hours.

Establishments will have to be open from Monday to Sunday, Domingo explained, and close at 10pm in winter and at midnight in summer. But, in recent meetings with local residents' associations, Domingo has given assurances that neither she nor her members want the new café terraces to transform the Borne into a new centre for Palma's night life.

She also explained yesterday that bars and cafés taking advantage of the new terrace option along the Borne will have to respect the style and atmosphere of the avenue. “WE DON'T WANT IT FILLED WITH TABLES” “We don't want the whole of the Borne filled with tables and chairs,” Domingo - who is also vice-president of the Balearic small-to-medium sized businesses association (Pimeco) - added. “The terraces need to complement the avenue as opposed to overpowering it,” she said, adding that she certainly didn't want its elegance in any way to be diminished by the new activity. Domingo is planning a meeting with the City Council to express her members' views when the bylaw changes are nearing completion.

The move to relax legislation was recently given a public airing by the City Councillor for Tourism, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Joana Maria Borras who said that changes in the bylaw will also enable café terraces to be set up in other areas of Palma such as the Ramblas and other central thoroughfares.

Borras had said that the current law is “very old and out of date”.
She added that it has to be adapted to meet the needs of a city that is accustomed to hosting nine million visitors a year and wants to become a leading short break destination. Traders hope that by making the Borne more attractive, more shoppers will head in to the centre of the city.