The mayor insists that the development would not be a hotel, only a refuge or hostel. | R.E.


Escorca town hall wants to build a hostel or refuge in Sa Calobra. In order to be able to do this, the town hall would require a planning modification to be approved by the regional government's environment commission. A complete environmental impact assessment for the hostel and other developments being considered by the town hall would be the first stage in this process.

However, Escorca's mayor, Antoni Solivellas, is opposed to there being an assessment study. He says that all the town hall wants is a change of use for a site that is classified as urban land. "A complete environmental impact report would be costly and prolong the whole procedure." Solivellas is accusing the commission's president, Antoni Alorda, of wanting to impede town hall initiatives. "We're going to have to start examining with a magnifying glass everything that the government processes in the municipality."

The mayor insists that the development would not be a hotel, only a refuge or hostel, and adds that "they" (the government) won't permit tourist uses in the municipality. Despite this, the government and the Council of Majorca both "exploit" mountain refuges in protected areas of Escorca.

The town hall's ideas aren't confined to the building of the hostel. Solivellas explains that they would also like existing businesses, i.e. restaurants, to be able to offer rooms as accommodation. "As we have hardly any urban land and if we cannot expand these businesses, Escorca will continue to be the only municipality in the Balearics subject to depopulation."