The Council of Majorca and the environment ministry will work together in detecting illegal building.

07-11-2017Juanjo Roig

The environment ministry and the land department at the Council of Majorca have arrived at an agreement for the inspection and monitoring of natural protected areas.

Procedures drawn up will allow 65 environment agents to communicate more rapidly and effectively with the Council's agency for defence of territory. This communication will be for the discovery of illegal building work on protected land and will result in the Council being able to stop the work within 24 hours.

In explaining this arrangement on Monday, the minister (Vicenç Vidal) and councillor (Mercedes Garrido) said that there has been informal cooperation until now. They signed a document on Monday which formalises this.

Last year there had already been an increase in communications between ministry and department. Of 248 proceedings opened by the Council in respect of building and uses without licences, 87 of these related to protected rustic land. The Council issued 55 demolition orders in 2018 for building and uses without licences in protected areas.

Garrido stressed the importance of initiating proceedings when illegal work is detected. Via the electronic system now in place, environment agents and Council inspectors will be able to give an immediate response and stop work within 24 hours. The Council, she added, doesn't have the capacity to undertake inspections on protected land in the same way that the environment ministry does with its 65 agents. Nevertheless, the agency for defence of territory expects to double the number of its inspectors this year from seven to fourteen.

The rapid response will be an improvement on the situation by which it has taken some three months to stop illegal building work. Vidal noted that the new arrangement will provide a great benefit in stopping movements of earth before building is even started.