Eduardo Lopez (left) of the builders association with Carmen Planas of CAEB and Antoni Riera. | Teresa Ayuga

The Balearic Builders Association has voiced its criticism of obstacles being raised by local authorities. The association and the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations (CAEB) had supported a report by the Fundació Impulsa, which is a joint private sector and Balearic government organisation, into issues facing construction in the Balearics.

At a presentation for the report on Wednesday, the foundation's technical director, Antoni Riera, stressed that legal insecurity arising from the increasing complexity of the legal system needs to be addressed. This has created uncertainty, while it has manifested itself through delays in the processing of building licences. This in turn is meaning additional costs, with some delays taking up to eight years.

The association's president, Eduardo López, said at the presentation that if this legal insecurity persists it will bring a halt to building activity in the Balearics. Town halls, he added, should be able to process licences in no more than eighteen months. The passivity of local authorities and alterations to urban planning regulations are also contributing to uncertainty and delays.

López wants a change of attitude in order to make more urban land available for development. "The market is demanding cheap urban land so that there can be affordable housing. Administrations should therefore be more sensible and not act according to political criteria. The demand is at present much higher than what is being built."

He dismissed the idea that there is a property bubble. There are only some 2,500 homes being built per annum, which is way lower than before the economic crisis, when there were between 8,000 and 15,000 each year.