Although the Council of Majorca had said that any alterations to its holiday rentals zoning could not be more permissive, it has accepted submissions in respect of seven villages that will remove restrictions.
One of the seven is Ariany, where the town hall had taken great exception to the village having been defined as "saturated". In other words, future licence applications for rentals could only be for a maximum of sixty days per annum in an owner's main residence (apartments and stand-alone properties). In the new draft for the zoning, the Council has changed this categorisation and will allow rentals 365 days a year in all types of properties; these are not dependent on their being owners' main residences.
The other six are Es Carritxó in Felanitx, Es Llombards in Santanyi, Randa (Algaida), Ruberts (Sencelles), S'Esgleieta (Esporles) and Ses Coves (Deya). In the case of Els Llombards, the town hall in Santanyi has been particularly vocal in its criticism of the Council's categorisation. There is also a semantic alteration. These "saturated" areas are now to be referred to as "vulnerable", but this doesn't change the principles of the zoning.
The Council has received 26 reports from town halls and 43 submissions from individuals or associations, the vast majority of which are for greater restrictions than the Council had envisaged. One is Llucmajor town hall's request for apartment holiday rentals in Arenal to be prohibited. The Council had defined Arenal as "saturated" and so therefore limited to the sixty-day rule. Arenal was the only resort to be defined in this way apart from four in Calvia - Magalluf, Palmanova, Paguera and Santa Ponsa. Calvia town hall has accepted this definition and has not made any request for it to be amended.
Other examples of a more restrictive approach are in the old centre of Puerto Soller and in Playa de Muro. Soller town hall has asked for the 60-day rule to apply, while Muro town hall wants to prohibit apartment holiday rentals. The Council's zoning had contemplated 365 days a year rental of all types of properties in Playa de Muro.
The redraft of the zoning will now be forwarded to the Balearic Environment Commission. It has to agree to the proposals before a definitive approval can be given. Meanwhile, the Council's PIAT plan for intervention in tourist areas has yet to be revealed. It may well have some impact on zoning decisions, but the final version needs to be approved before the end of July. The year-long moratorium on the issuing of new rentals licences finishes then.
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