Alcudia is one tourist municipality with pressures on accommodation. | Andrew Ede


Mayors in Majorca have responded positively to the announcement that holiday rentals' legislation will give town halls powers to decide on zoning of places or even prohibition. In general, they are unlikely to opt for the latter.

Before town halls begin the process of submitting their reports on zoning (they will have eight months to do so from the time that the legislation is finally passed by parliament), the Council of Majorca has to finalise its zoning assessment. The Council may well take account of the fact that in certain coastal municipalities there is comparatively little hotel stock. In these cases, e.g. Arta and Campos, places may be weighted in their favour.

A municipality where there is an abundance of hotel places is Alcudia. Noises from its town hall have until now sounded relatively liberal on the subject. But at the council meeting last week concerns were aired about the pressures being placed on accommodation because of holiday rentals. The mayor was one of those to express concerns, yet his party, El Pi, is an advocate of a liberal policy. The meeting noted - it was last Monday - that it didn't have powers to regulate. That was before the government made its announcement.

In neighbouring Pollensa, the situation is quite different. There are more registered holiday rentals places than there are hotel places. The municipality has a major dependence on residential tourism. Despite the mayor having backed a council proposal regarding allowing villas to continue to be rented out even if there are legal issues with them (which would mean that they couldn't continue under the legislation), Miquel Àngel March has spoken in the past about the accommodation pressures.

His left-wing grouping, Junts Avançam, is likely to find itself in an awkward situation, torn between the more restrictive attitudes of Més, the need to ensure the local tourism economy and the problems with accommodation. Much will depend, though, as it will with other municipalities, on what the Council of Majorca comes up with.