Drone flying over Andratx for environmental purposes. archive photo | P. Aguilo

Anyone planning on slapping a new extension on their house next year better make sure they have a licence because the Council is buying 8 drones which will be used to detect illegal construction on rustic soil in Mallorca.

The Agència de Defensa del Territori has set aside 8,000 euros of its budget for the drones which cost 1,000 euros each and ADT Inspectors will use them to check alleged violations in areas that are difficult to access.

At the moment aerial photographs are used to clarify whether there’s been an infringement, but sometimes recent images are unavailable, don’t cover the location in question or vegetation makes it impossible to identify illegal construction.

Right to Privacy

Inspectors will be given specific training to learn the rules governing drone flights and the legal issues related to privacy.

The Agència de Defensa del Territori was created in 2009 but was virtually inactive until five years ago. Since it was reactivated, new regulations have been issued and the workforce has increased from 14 to 35.

Many Municipalities have joined the Agència de Defensa del Territori, which inspects rural land in 29 of the 53 towns in Mallorca.

In 2019 alone, the ADT issued 434 preliminary actions, imposed around 368 sanctions totalling 6.1 million euros, shut down 73 illegal works, issued 115 demolition orders and executed 124.

When the Agency was inactive between 2009 and 2015 only 19 demolitions took place, whereas between 2016 and 2019 there were 302.