ARTA A Balearic Environmental Committee has called a halt to plans to enlarge the beach at Colonia de Sant Pere in Arta despite the fact the move had been approved by Central Government.

The Committee said yesterday it has taken the decision because the enlargement programme would have encroached on protected natural territory and would have had an enormous visual impact on the environment.

The proposals had included building a a new 170 metre long breakwater and pumping another 38'000 cubic metres of sand onto the extended beach area which would increase the overall size six times.

Central Government had wanted to adopt a strategy that would stop the erosion of the beach as well as to set a timetable for periodically topping it up with sand. When the plans were put out to public scrutiny, conservationist groups rushed to condemn it, claiming it would affect the delicate undersea Posidonia meadow grass which stabilises the sand on the beach. Technicians from the regional Environment ministry said yesterday that Central Government will “have to come up with another option.”