Traffic congestion in and around Palma is likely to mean no more large retail developments. | Jaume Morey


The Council of Majorca has completed the drafting of its plan for commercial centres, having established a moratorium on new developments in anticipation of the plan.

Among the criteria for future planning authorisation will be the impact on traffic. This will in fact be decisive in determining whether developments of 700 square metres or more can go ahead. In addition to the traffic impact will be environmental, scenic and cultural assessments.

It is the Council which establishes the guidelines, but it is the regional government that grants permissions. In the case of developments that are greater than 5,000 square metres, there will need to be a specific study of traffic and mobility. If the government and the Council deem that developments will cause additional traffic congestion, then a licence to build will in principle be refused.

The provisions in the plan are mainly designed to deal with traffic congestion in Palma, on the Via Cintura and on the motorways up to the Mallorca Fashion Outlet in Marratxi and towards Arenal. Stretches of road in the Palma area can produce daily traffic volumes of more than 100,000 vehicles.

The island is to be divided into five zones. A maximum amount of development is to be established for each one. The thinking is to distribute commercial activity away from Palma. In this respect, Inca and Manacor are considered to be the municipalities where greatest growth will be allowed.

One project that may now have even less chance of coming to fruition than was already the case is the Port Mayurqa theme park/shopping complex in Palma. Despite surveys which indicate public support for it, Palma town hall has said that it doesn't fit with its general urban plan. The site for it is by Ikea and the Atlético Baleares football stadium.