THE Council of Majorca will lift the freeze that has brought the construction sector to a standstill next Monday, following the initial approval of the Island's Territory Plan (PTI). The moratorium, however, will only come to an end in those areas which are not affected by the Plan. The Council's leader, María Antonia Munar, announced yesterday that the lifting of the freeze will come into force next January in order to avoid “difficulties” in the application for, and approval of, building permits. The Council will allow a period of two months for the presentation of claims from builders who may be borderline cases so far as the Territory Plan is concerned. The Council calculates that final approval will require some eight months. In this way, there will be a more smooth-running system in place to handle administration work, said the leader of the Council of Majorca. She was confident that this measure will act as an economic “trigger” for Majorca. In her view, the Territorial Plan will establish a balance between economic development and environmental protection. Housing development estimates are 3.3 percent lower than forecast and are in fact more in line with those approved by the previous Socialist coalition. The Territory Plan constitutes “focussed” and “stable” sustainable development, claimed Munar. Its contents provide “the necessary mechanisms” for responsibly transforming the island using private enterprise”, she continued. Bartomeu Vicens, the head of the planning department, claimed that during the present legislature, “specific changes” have been introduced which have allowed for even greater protection to be given to the Island. After emphasising that the Council of Majorca is determined that the benefits of theTerritory Plan “should be enduring”, Vicens explained that his department will take into consideration all the claims that come before the Council, if they don't impinge on the essential structure of the plan. Vicens, who went on to give details of town planning elements of the Territory policy, claimed that there would be only 2 percent residential growth in Andratx, Capdepera, Marratxí and Puigpunyent. He indicated that the contents of the plan will favour the refurbishment of the historical sectors of Palma, Inca and Manacor and will give incentive to the private sector to finance high quality developments in tourist areas. Asked about the likelihood of the construction of a theme park on Majorca, Munar said that the Majorcan Union party of which she is head, is against the project and Vicens claimed that its building “is incompatible” with the philosophy of the Territorial Plan .

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