It looks like proposals to build an 11 m2 platform on the cliff of Albercutx tower in Pollensa are about to be shelved by the Insular Heritage Commission.
The project was put forward by the Group of Observers of Raptors of Albercuix or GORA in collaboration with Seo Birdlife.
Albercutx tower offers spectacular views of the Tramuntanas, the bays of Alcudia and Pollenca, it's been decreed as an Asset of Cultural Interest and has a very rich history.
During the late 16th and early 17 century the Albercutx watchtower was one of many towers built as a defence mechanism for the Island. When pirates were spotted approaching Mallorca during the day smoke signals were sent up as a warning and troops were mobilised to defend local towns. At night the sentries passed warnings from one tower to another using torch signals.
The towers were abandoned when piracy died out, but they later played a crucial role during World War I and II and the Spanish Civil War.
Birdwatchers have been collecting data on birds migrating between Africa and Europe for 18 years and they claim the new platform is needed "for security reasons.”
GORA members have been planting their camera tripods and other equipment directly onto the rock, but the group now has more than 20 members and when the group’s President, Lalo Ventoso presented the project he revealed that "there had been several falls."
On November 24 a technical report was published in response to Medi Ambient’s proposal, which warned that proposals to build a platform out of cement or concrete would never be allowed under any circumstances, but GORA insists other materials won't work.
“Wood cannot be used because of its greater visual impact and higher cost,” stressed Ventoso, "and because when people walk on it the birdwatcher’s tripods start shaking."
Patrimony has reportedly been opposed to the platform proposal since it was first submitted last spring and the Insular Director of Patrimoni, Kika Coll has now confirmed that Medi Ambient’s proposal hasn’t changed.
The Insular Heritage Commission is now expected to formally approve its technicians’ report and “reject the project regardless of whether or not it conforms to Urban Planning rules.”
The watchtower of Albercutx is the perfect place to count birds as they cross Mallorca on their way from Africa to European destinations and the data that the birdwatchers have collected has been published periodically by the GOB to help measure climate change.