Pilar Costa at Friday's briefing. | Jaume Morey


The three parties of government have resolved their differences and come to agreement on the decree that will restrict construction on rustic land. The cabinet was due to have given its approval for this decree on Friday morning but did not. It is understood that this non-approval had angered Més in particular. By the evening, government spokesperson Pilar Costa was able to report that government approval will now be given in the next few days, probably at a special meeting of the cabinet on Monday.

At her Friday morning press briefing, Costa said that the decree had not been blocked by the parties which form the pact government. It was evident, however, that Més, backed by Podemos, felt that PSOE were failing to keep to their word and were hindering the approval. The environment ministry, controlled by Més, had drafted the text of the decree.

One issue, or so it would appear, was the moratorium on building in risk protection areas (APR). This has now been altered. Construction is to be prohibited outright except if a property is to be built on part of a plot that isn't classified as being APR, which refers to risks such as flooding and fire.

The parameters for building on rustic land will see a reduction in built volume from 1,500 to 900 cubic metres. This will mean that on a plot of two "quarterades" there can be a property with a maximum of 210 square metres built area. A quarterada is an old land measure which is still used and equates to 7,103 square metres.

The decree will apply to Majorca and Minorca but not to Ibiza or Formentera.

One of the opposition parties, El Pi, has criticised the government's "contradictory policy" in respect of economic recovery. The party's general secretary, Josep Melià, said on Friday that now was the time to be simplifying regulations rather than introducing a decree that will add legal uncertainty. These "urban development changes" will affect town halls and owners of plots of land.

Melià believed that the government was looking to mollify environmentalists who had taken issue with the previous decree of urgent measures by which, for example, hotels can increase built area by 15%.