Palma.—The Balearic High Court ruled yesterday that the previous regional Socialist coalition government did all it legally could to protect the natural territory at Son Bosc before builders moved in to start the construction of a golf course.

The ruling has been a blow to Balearic conservation group “GOB” who had appealed for further measures to be taken to protect what they claim is an irreplaceable habitat for a range of species of flora and fauna.

The High Court said that it had examined the actions taken by the previous Balearic government during the months running up to July 2010 when Parliament declared that it was in the “public interest” that a golf course be built on the land which is adjacent to the Albufera nature reserve in Muro. The Court said that the government had quite rightly recognised the specific areas of Son Bosc which were entitled to environmental protection and that if they (the government)were guilty of anything, it was in delaying introducing necessary measures. However, added the Court, the delay does not constitute illegality.

The decision of the Court announced yesterday has blocked off one route that the conservationists were hoping would enable the golf project to be halted entirely. The long-fought battle to prevent development on the natural land, which has garnered international support, is not at an end as “GOB” may appeal the ruling.