José Hila had to admit that there had been a "bad interpretation" of the rules. | Felip Palou

Palma town hall has been forced to admit that it got it wrong where holiday rentals in Playa de Palma were concerned.

Earlier in the week, the deputy mayor for urban planning, José Hila, announced that his department had approved a ban on all future holiday rentals in Playa de Palma - houses, villas as well as apartments. When the matter was taken for approval to the full council session on Thursday, Hila said that a "bad interpretation" had been made of the Council of Majorca's PIAT plan for intervention in tourism areas. It had been understood that this was for a complete ban, but the Council has informed the town hall otherwise.

The upshot is that owners of houses and villas (not apartments) will be able to rent their properties out for a maximum of sixty days per annum. This is in line with the principle applied by the Council to so-called mature and saturated resorts, such as Magalluf and the Llucmajor part of Arenal. The sixty days can be in either July or August plus one other month, which is another principle set out by the Council. The main difference to the Council's stipulations for saturated resorts is that apartments are excluded - Palma had already decided to introduce a city-wide ban on the possibility of obtaining holiday rental licences for apartments. Llucmajor town hall won't allow apartment rentals in Arenal either.

Bad interpretation or not, the opposition argued that the town hall's rentals zoning was full of major errors. Patricia Conrado of Ciudadanos said that it will not solve the problem of access to housing and will harm many people. Lourdes Bosch of the Partido Popular observed that the plan "won't work" and that it was already being seen not to work.

* Holiday rental properties with existing licences are unaffected by the town hall's regulations.