26-09-2015NM

Laws designed to protect land that the government of Francesc Antich (2007-2011) introduced led to compensation claims amounting to 483.65 million euros. Information from the current government shows that nineteen developers were affected by legislative moves by the former PSOE-led administration and that most of the cases remain unresolved.

The figure has come to light days after parliament validated a new decree-law related to planning matters. This also protects certain areas where, until a month ago, there had been the possibilities of developments, such as with golf courses and polo fields. The ministry for land, headed by PSOE's Joan Boned, accepts that the new decree may well give rise to further compensation demands in addition to those which are outstanding. "We are sure that there will be," says a government source. However, the government doesn't accept that legal action would necessarily mean that courts would agree with compensation demands.

The government is in fact aware that legal decisions often mean that compensation is set at a much lower amount than that which is sought. It is also common that proceedings leading to a judgement find that there are no specific damages that merit compensation.

The government may well be right in appearing relaxed about compensation. Of the various claims that resulted from the Antich period legislation, only three of the nineteen have placed an amount on these claims and they have all been lower. For example, there was one from Gunter Killer Bautrager SL (in relation to a development in Andratx), which had sought 34.17 million euros. The initial ruling upheld the claim for compensation but set it at only 1.09 million.

An even more striking case involved the developer Tecno Habitat Mallorca SL. It sought compensation of 146.7 million euros for development in Cala Carbó (Cala Sant Vicenç), but the court reduced this to 22.5 million. A third judgement in respect of a demand for 1.32 million euros did not set a figure to be paid.

There are also cases which resulted in the dismissal of compensation claims. One related to Ponent Marsal SL (a development in Felanitx). It had demanded 14.8 million euros but received nothing. The same happened to the Ibiza and Formentera Chamber of Commerce, which had been looking for 1.5 million euros. A court ruled that it was not entitled to it.

The other cases are still waiting judgement.

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