Many of the shops beneath Plaça Major are closed and for rent

The shopping area below the Plaça Major in Palma may be converted into a car park.

11-09-2019T. AYUGA

The proposal made by PSOE at the town hall to turn the shopping area below the Plaça Major in Palma into a car park has not been well received by various associations and other political parties.

Toni Gayà, president of Afedeco, one of the two associations which represent smaller retailers, says that both the associations (Pimeco is the other one) are in favour of the units continuing to be used for retail purposes and as restaurants. The associations have presented their own proposal to the town hall, so conversion into a car park, insists Gayà, would be "an outrage and an aberration" for such an "emblematic" space.

The Partido Popular's spokesperson, Mercedes Celeste, has accused Mayor Hila of dashing the hopes of residents and retailers and of harming employment. Fulgencio Coll of Vox doesn't believe that a car park would be appropriate. Having a supermarket and other shops is convenient, and these stores benefit the economy and day-to-day life of residents in the city centre. Eva Pomar, spokesperson for Ciudadanos, accepts that something needs to be done with the space but argues that this should be to the benefit of small business.

Joan Forteza of the federation of residents associations isn't totally opposed to some car parking spaces being created, but he favours a mixed project that would include educational and sociocultural uses. His counterpart at another federation, Miquel Obrador, appreciates that more parking is needed but not at the expense of the units. The area needs to have "public utility for residents in the city centre, with a variety of commercial offers".

Àngels Fermoselle of the Arca heritage assocation agrees with Afedeco that the PSOE proposal is an outrage. It should be an opportunity for the city, she insists, Arca's own proposal envisaging a space for "interpretation of the city". Other suggestions include a gastronomy and artisan market. Afedeco and Pimeco are in favour of this, and the Council of Majorca's proposal is along similar lines.

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Britbabe / Hace 13 days

Something definitely needs doing with the dark, gloomy and quite scary area under Plaza Major and changing the space to a car park is probably the easiest option. However, that would only lead to more vehicles in central Palma, which is not a good idea. A long, reasoned discussion is needed with all affected before any rash decision is made.

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