Son Bunyola in Banyalbufar. | Archive

The Council of Majorca is finalising the administrative procedures for declaring Richard Branson's hotel project in Banyalbufar in the general interest. The Council urban planning commission has now put the project out to public consultation, after which definitive approval will be given.

The Branson project entails the conversion of houses at the Son Bunyola estate into a luxury hotel. Banyalbufar town hall is firmly behind the scheme, while the Council will grant it general interest status (meaning there is no impediment to it going ahead) on the understanding that heritage characteristics are retained.

The mayor of Banyalbufar, Mateu Ferrà, says that it is always better if old estates have some form of activity and that their owners look after them rather than allowing them to fall into disrepair.

Branson bought the estate he had previously owned in 2015. It was sold in 2002 after he had failed to get permissions he had wanted for development. Some 270 hectares in all (around a third of the entire land area of Banyalbufar), he paid 15 million euros for Son Bunyola with the intention of it becoming the most eco-sustainable hotel complex in Europe.