The Marivent gardens, some of them anyway, will be open to the public from February. | Efe / Govern Balear

Over nine thousand square metres of the gardens at the royal Marivent Palace in Palma will be open to the public from February next year. The town hall, however, wants public access to all the gardens - three times as much space.

The director of urban planning, Joan Riera, says that his department has granted the licence for adapting the current public area but adds that this is just the first step. "We expect that in the future we will be able to open all the gardens."

Work on adaptation will start shortly, the regional government having said that a February opening is planned. It will take some two to three months and has a budget of just over 200,000 euros. In essence, it involves a closing-off in order to ensure security for the Royal Family, although when the family is in residence (Easter and in the summer) the gardens will be completely closed to the public.

Security, Riera notes, has been one of the most difficult issues surrounding the project. He adds that the Royal Household has been highly "scrupulous" on this matter.

Antoni Noguera, the deputy mayor for urban planning, says that there has as yet been no request made to allow public access to the palace itself. After he takes over as mayor in June next year, he will meet King Felipe, at which point the matter may well be raised. The Marivent, he observes, will create a new cultural area away from the centre of Palma by being joined to the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation and the rehabilitated house of Ahn Eak-Tai, the Korean composer who founded the Majorca Symphony Orchestra in 1947; this became the Balearic Symphony Orchestra.