Work on the development (in the foreground) was halted in summer 2007. | Michel's


Andratx town hall has agreed to pay 15 million euros compensation to the developer of the Monport estate in Puerto Andratx.

Unanimous approval was given at Thursday's council meeting to start paying compensation, which had been demanded by the Balearic High Court. The court's ruling was based on the fact that building licences for 68 dwellings in eight separate blocks had been granted illegally by the town hall in 2004; the Monport development was on protected land and should never have been permitted.

Mayor Joan Manera says that the town hall has been in negotiation with the developer, Prosmi, for the past eighteen months. This negotiation has led to a 700,000 euros reduction in the compensation that the court had set. The court's deadline for compensation becoming effective is September 5.

The town hall had considered an appeal to the Supreme Court in Madrid but recognised that this had very little chance of success. The buildings will be demolished at some point.

Work on the Monport development was halted in July 2007. A few months earlier, the Council of Majorca had warned that the buildings were on protected land, and this warning came soon after the mayor of Andratx, Eugenio Hidalgo, was arrested.

Early on in the criminal investigation into Monport and other licences granted by Hidalgo and the town hall, it was clear that Prosmi had not committed any offence. The land, it was established, had been protected since 1991.