View from one of the villas at the Virgin Son Bunyola estate. | Jonathan Cosh of Visual Eye


The mayor of Banyalbufar, Mateu Ferrà, says that the town hall has no objection to the two villas on Richard Branson's Son Bunyola estate being offered as tourism accommodation. The villas are now being marketed under the Virgin Limited Edition brand.

As far as the town hall is concerned, so long as the villas conform with legislation as it applies to any other similar properties, then there is no reason for any objection. Moreover, it has expressed its support for what has been a rehabilitation of the old estate and of the sixteenth century watchtower.

Equally, the town hall wouldn't have an issue with there being a luxury hotel; again so long as it meets legal requirements. Ferrà adds that the estate is private property that comprises a third of all Banyalbufar's territory but that he doesn't know if there are the necessary licences for this type of development. The tourism ministry hasn't informed the town hall, and in similar circumstances, he believes, it wouldn't inform any other town hall.

The opposition in Banyalbufar is likewise relaxed. It is private property in a quiet area, and as the buildings have not been changed they don't affect anyone.

When Branson sold the Son Bunyola estate in 2002 (he re-purchased it last year), he did so because of a row over planning permission. Plans that he had at that time were dashed partly because - as he has said - the then mayor "lacked the necessary foresight".