The council session in Palma yesterday. | Miquel À. Cañellas

Palma town hall yesterday gave initial approval to its new public way bylaw and to the holiday rentals zoning plan that will exclude apartments everywhere in the city.

With the bylaw, also referred to as the terraces law, there will now be a period of thirty days during which further submissions can be made. The councillor for public service, Aurora Jhardi, expects definitive approval in July and that the bylaw will establish order to the "occupation of the public way and recover space". She insists that she is working towards obtaining "maximum consensus" and has thanked "interested parties" in moving towards achieving a balance.

As for the rentals zoning, deputy mayor for urban planning, José Hila, observed that rentals have been a cause of the increase in the cost of rental accommodation in general. The main motivation behind the zoning, i.e. the apartments ban, is to ensure that residents have access to housing. "Palma is losing many young people and workers because they can't pay for an apartment." Definitive approval of the rentals regulations is also expected in July.

The council session at which the approvals were given was marked by jeers from opponents of both the rentals ban and the terraces bylaw. The Partido Popular opposed both, while Ciudadanos opposed the rentals ban and abstained on the bylaw.

Meanwhile, the Fevitur national federation of holiday rental associations is considering taking legal action. The federation said yesterday that  a "radical and populist" total ban on apartment holiday rentals is driven by political motivations and that it denotes "total animosity" towards tourism and towards the economy.