THE Council of Majorca will ban the construction of 26 housing developments that could become eligible for permits as soon as the “freeze” in the sector is lifted. These projects are amongst 78 developments which were prevented from going ahead by the Council of Majorca during the first stages of the Socialist coalition in 1999. Francesc Quetglas was then head of the Island Planning Commission. In total, building development plans on hold would cover more than 3.5 million square metres. The moratorium, approved by the Council of Majorca, was anulled years later by the Balearic Supreme High Court. The court lifted the ban on the developments when it came to the conclusion that the Council of Majorca was not empowered to have a final say on what happened on the land. Of the 78 housing developments which they blocked, 52 were later rejected under the new Planning Guidelines known as DOT, but the remaining 26 were not covered by the same re-classification. There are some areas that the Council of Majorca wants to keep free from building projects but when the current moratorium is lifted tomorrow when the Territory Plan is officially approved, 26 of the housing developments “on hold” could be re-presented by construction promoters and are located in the sectors that the Council wants to preserve. In order to ensure that these sets of plans don't get the go-ahead, the Council has included a series of provisions in the Territory Plan which will stop the developments getting the green light. Of the 26, a total of 16 development plans had not been fully approved when the “freeze” was imposed. The Territory Plan stipulates that all the land in question should be directly reclassified as rural land, thus disqualifying them from development. Such provisions point to the fact that town councils, in terms of planning, have gone beyond the boundaries set by the Territory Plan. The other 10 developments present greater difficulties. These are ones that did indeed have their plans approved and their disqualification, when the moratorium is lifted, could mean the Council of Majorca having to pay out a great deal of money. In order to prohibit their construction, a clause has been inserted into the Territory Plan which obliges town councils to reclassify ground adjacent to tourist zones, or which constitute isolated plots, as “reserve” or ”discretional”. These Territory Plan provisions, would not prohibit, in theory, the construction of a new housing development in the Chopin area of Valldemossa, but those in charge at the Council of Majorca believe that the zone is already disqualified from such projects because the Natural Landscape Law prohibits construction in the area in order to protect valuable oak woods. As well as these 26 new housing developments which will be blocked by the Council of Majorca, there are another six that the Territory Plan directly disqualifies. In total, there are 32 housing devlopments which will be prohibited under the by-laws introduced by the Island Council. They include parts of Sant Telm, Colonia de Sant Pere, and Escorca.


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