Old factory of Can Morató in Pollensa. | E. BALLESTERO

In July, the opposition at Pollensa town hall was outraged at the exclusion of six properties in Puerto Pollensa from the town hall’s catalogue for protection of “buildings with historical, artistic, architectural and scenic interest”. A long-running row, this related to old houses on the paseos Voramar and Colom, which more or less conform to what is commonly referred to as the pinewalk. All from the early part of the last century, they were Ca l’Adroguer, Can Franc, Can Mena, Can Morató, Can Ques and Can Tugores.

Former mayor, Miquel Àngel March of Junts Avançam, said that the Council of Mallorca had on two occasions demanded that these buildings be included in the catalogue, which acts as giving them listed status. The Council is the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes a heritage asset, but it doesn’t have the power to enforce protection unless it has direct responsibility for this protection. The decision therefore lay with the town hall, and decisions to give protection (or not) - as March pointed out - are influenced by the issue of potential compensation. This refers to compensation to owners who are prevented from redeveloping the properties because of listed status.

The opposition is now even more infuriated by the fact that the approval for this exclusion was passed as a matter of urgency at the council meeting on July 24. Five months on and the documentation hasn’t been sent to the Council of Mallorca who, via its urban planning and heritage departments, is the body which is responsible for definitively approving the catalogue. Junts Avançam say: “The action of the government team is doubly irresponsible. Firstly, it reduced the proposed catalogue and it has now delayed the submission to the Council.”