Escorca's mayor, Antoni Solivellas, has taken exception to the new law for urban planning which gives greater powers over protected rural land to the Council of Majorca's agency for the defence of land.
Nearly all of Escorca is protected in some form or another, meaning that the agency could have control of building discipline in most of the municipality. Solivellas believes that the law represents an imposition on town halls which had refused to hand over powers for this building discipline to the agency.
He notes that under the previous legislation town halls could cede these powers and that the agency could intervene if town halls failed to act against infringements. The new law, on the other hand, is an "imposition" because the agency can act directly and without town halls having raised notifications of possible infringements. The message the legislation sends out, in his opinion, is "sign the agreement and hand over responsibilities or we will take them on directly". This, he concludes, is stepping on the toes of town halls.
The mayor, who is with the Partido Popular, points out that his party presented submissions against the legislation but that these were dismissed. "It is clear that this government wants to have total control of Escorca. What they cannot win at elections, they intend to gain in other ways. Sometimes I have the impression that there is persecution."
Solivellas has been the PP mayor of Escorca (population 230) since 1991.
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