By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
PLEAS from the construction sector for the local authorities to reconsider its plans to introduce a new freeze on major developments appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

Yesterday the Council of Majorca approved the motion to protect a number of areas from further development.
This first phase of a crackdown on construction means that building of the Es Guix urban development in Escorca will have to stop, along with the construction of a hotel and golf course in Es Pujol, Santanyi.

The projected urban developments in Cala Blanca, Andratx and Cala Marcal in Felanitx will probably have to be shelved. Other areas now protected from further development are the Camp de Mar sand dunes; part of the beachfront in Lluchmajor; Sa Rapita beach where some 5'000 units were due to be built; the area between Palma and Marratxi, where some 4'000 units were being planned; Son Severa and San Llorenç.

The building freeze was criticised by the opposition Partido Popular whose spokesperson, Jaume Font, stressed the insecurity in the building and development sectors the building freezes are causing.

However, the Councillor for Planning, Maria Luisa Dubon, said that yesterday's action was just the first step of a complete reformation of the island's planning laws.

Those developers hit by the freeze will be entitled to compensation and each case will be thrashed out separately.
President of the Council of Majorca Francina Armengol said that the council is taking its responsibilities extremely seriously and the decision to introduce the new building freeze was not taken lightly and had been very carefully elaborated.

She recognised that there are other developments and areas of the island which could have been included but, as Dubron pointed out, this is only the first phase of the body's attempt to control construction on Majorca and encourage more sustainable development.

Once the planning laws have been revised, they are expected to be put before the council for approval at the end of June, just before the summer recess.

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