At least a third of the building permits processed by the Ajuntament de Palma in 2020 were more than 3 years old and only 9% were from that year, according to a study by the Association of Real Estate Developers in the Balearic Islands, or Proinba.
“This situation is leading the Construction Sector into a major crisis,” said Developers. “The delays and difficulties in processing licences is holding back investment, stopping developers from building and aggravating the problem of the lack of decent, affordable housing, which in turn affects rents," they added. "Many jobs in the Construction and Industrial Sectors are in danger in 2021 if we don’t manage to get licences in time.”
The report indicates that in 2020, 1,250 files passed through the Gerència d’Urbanisme, which is 218 less than the previous year. On average 100 files are processed per month which is considered "completely insufficient to overcome the blockage and delays in granting licences in accordance with legal deadlines.”
The study found that 14.3% of the licenses granted (179) were for new construction and that “there is an increase in multi-family units” whereas demolition decreased "which indicates that the positive trend of adding on to what is already built is decreasing,” and regrets “the lack of transparency of the City Council to provide data on file entries.”
“Cort is between one and three years behind in granting 91% of town planning licences.” said PP Councillor Julio Martínez. "This not only represents a clear example of the inefficiency of the Municipal Government it also puts the brakes on activity in the Construction Sector.”
Martínez stressed that "the average term for Cort to grant an urban licence is close to two years, which shows that the data is worse that it was in 2019; it is an intolerable scenario for a city like Palma and more so in the current circumstances of economic and labour crisis."
"Palma needs to expedite the granting of these licenses to generate employment, and compensate for the lack of activity in other economic sectors,” said Councillor Martínez who demanded that Palma Mayor, José Hila initiate a plan to make sure at least 50% of these licences are granted within a year.