A protest against the hotel development in 2013. | Nuria Rincón


The prospect of the building of a hotel near Es Trenc beach in Sa Rapita was an issue that generated a great deal of controversy when the Partido Popular was in government between 2011 and 2015. The project has never definitively been killed off, but the Council of Majorca intends that it will be.

The hotel became a possibility under the first Majorca land plan of 2004. This plan in essence determined what could be built and where. It also covered the nature of development, e.g. for residential or tourism purposes, and came up with a land quota system which was relevant to the Sa Rapita project. The land in Campos, some twenty hectares, would be a form of quid pro quo for the area then occupied (and still occupied) by the Don Pedro Hotel in Cala San Vicente: the legality of that hotel was once the subject of debate.

Also included in this equation was the Rocamar in Soller, which was demolished following an expropriation approved by the PP's tourism ministry and that has subsequently become a matter for the courts. In 2011, there was in fact an elimination of what was termed the area for land reconversion that had affected the Don Pedro, the Rocamar and the Sa Rapita development.

In March 2012, the PP government declared the hotel to be in the interest of the regional community. The following year, the Balearic High Court ruled against a Council of Majorca agreement - the Council was then also controlled by the PP - by which the area to be developed was increased from two to 21 hectares. This was, opponents said, a "halfway victory", but the possibility of the development had not gone away.

The current left-wing administration at the Council is to therefore define the land as residential and not tourist in its PIAT plan for intervention in tourist areas. The land will also retain a protected status because of its natural qualities. The project for the hotel, five star with 2,000 places, is being prevented. But don't discount the courts becoming involved again.