Protest at Ses Casetes des Capellans in October 2009 | MDB files

Political parties at Muro town hall rarely see eye-to-eye but they do in the case of the cottages of Ses Casetes des Capellans.

All six are in agreement in presenting a proposal to counter the Costas Authority’s revision of the boundary of the public-maritime domain. As explained on these pages three weeks ago, the revision threatens cottages with demolition.

This is the latest threat to this development, which has been owned by Muro town hall since 1929; residents of Muro are granted concessions so are, in effect, tenants.

In 2009, strict application of the 1988 Coasts Law threatened the entire development.

The proposal by the parties at the town hall is that there be a straight line twenty metres from the sea to mark the public-maritime domain and not 100 metres, as is envisaged under the Coasts Law.

A chief argument is that Capellans was classified as urban land prior to the enactment of the 1988 law.

Miquel Àngel Tortell, a councillor from one of the opposition parties, Més, says that approximately ten hectares were classified as urban land but that the cottages occupy only around half this area.

The municipal urban plan allows an increase in the number of properties from the existing 148 to 260, but the town hall - in exchange for the Costas agreeing to the 20-metre limit - is prepared to ensure that only half of the land is subject to development.

Muro’s mayor, Antoni Serra, stresses that the town hall has no desire to expand the development. “We have never wanted more cottages to be built.” Under the proposal, “we would relinquish growth”.

By setting the public-maritime limit at twenty metres, there would still be a few cottages within this domain as well as the terraces of three beach bars. The town hall hopes that the Costas will nevertheless spare them.