Pollensa council session. | R.D.

The Pollensa town hall minority administration of Junts Avançam and UMP (Unió Mollera Pollencina) has suffered a major setback in plans for the second phase of Puerto Pollensa's pedestrianisation project. At yesterday's council session, opposition parties combined to block the proposal to spend 2.1 million euros for work due to start in November and end by Easter next year.

The proposal, which includes further work on pavements, on the bike lane, on the road itself and on the installation of more benches and vegetation, was kicked out thanks to the Alternativa per Pollença (which has typically supported the minority administration) siding with the opposition led by former mayor Tomeu Cifre Ochogovia of Tots per Pollença.

Cifre attacked the "arrogant attitude" of deputy mayor and councillor for urban planning, his cousin Tomeu Cifre Bennàsar, saying that the proposals had been revealed to businesses prior to being shown to the opposition and to therefore arriving at a consensus. In addition, the ex-mayor queried the availability of half a million euros from the Council of Majorca to help fund the project. No agreement for this has been seen by the opposition. Nor is it evident that any permissions from the Costas Authority have been granted.

A further objection centred on the fact that funding for the project is being tied in with work to remove access obstacles at the Guillem Cifre Cultural Centre. The opposition argued that this project should be separated (the centre is in Pollensa town), but the administration didn't wish to. Both projects have therefore been knocked back.

Cifre Bennàsar described the vote against the second phase as "unfortunate" and suggested that it will cause a delay in executing work, the implication of which being that it will not be completed in time for the 2017 season.

The splitting of the project into two phases had been deemed necessary by the administration in order to address "deficiencies" in the project that was drawn up when Cifre Ochogovia was mayor.