THE environmental watchdog GOB attacked the decision to exclude large natural areas of the municipalities of Andratx and Calvia from the future Natural Area of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains yesterday. Spokesman Toni Muñoz said that the period for public scrutiny of the plans drawn up by the Balearic environment ministry expired two months ago, and the ministry has not taken into account any of the objections lodged by GOB. Muñoz said that it was “surprising” that the area referred to in the plan, known as the PORN from its Spanish initials, did not corresponded to the recognised geographical area of the Serra de Tramuntana. He alleged that in some occasions, the boundaries of the plan are marked by the boundaries of privately-owned property “and not by a road or a geographical feture.” He went on to say that the environment ministry had not taken into consideration any technical or environmental criteria when deciding what areas should be included in the PORN, claiming that political interests had prevailed. Among the areas which have been left out of the future Natural Area of the Serra de Tramuntana are the Puig de Garrafa, the Coll de la Gramola, the entire stretch of coast linking the port of Andratx and Sant Elm, and parts of Na Burguesa and La Trapa. GOB wants to see the protected area extended before the Plan is finally approved by the government.
Muñoz said that when drawing up the Plan, the ministry had tried to avoid conflict with the landowners, and pointed out that “it was precisely the owners of land in Calvia and Andratx who were most opposed to the Plan.” Commenting on the difference between a Natural Area and a Natural Park, Muñoz said it was slight, although “the construction of new, isolated, buildings is allowed in certain cases, in Natural Areas.” He hinted that planning interests could be behind the exclusion of certain areas of the mountains in the new plan.

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