Residents of Ciudad Jardín in Palma are "sick and tired" of what they describe as the "invasion" of motorhomes and camper vans. Jeroni Sureda, president of the local residents association, says that it is as if a "shanty town" of vehicles is being created.
On Friday, a letter with 330 signatures was registered with the town hall. Addressed to the mayor, José Hila, residents list the consequences of the increasing number of motorhomes: "Degradation of the neighbourhood, a negative visual impact, insecurity, filth, discharges of sewage into drains or directly into the sea, lack of control, the transformation of our beautiful neighbourhood and coastal area into a motorhome campsite." The letter states that "we will do everything legally necessary" to protect Ciudad Jardín.
Sureda adds that there is illegal rental of vehicles and some "shady dealing". A very strange "little universe" is being created that needs to be stopped.
The residents are demanding that the mayor implements an action plan to solve the problem. This should include the provision of areas for motorhomes to park. There aren't any in Palma. Sureda suggests that spaces could be made in town hall car parks that are away from the city centre, e.g. those of Son Fuster and Son Sardina.
Sureda explains that years ago there were just two or three motorhomes. They were "quite funny" and neighbours would help if the occupants needed anything. "But the word spread. There are now forty or fifty, and the number's going up."
There was once, he says, a two-metre high vehicle parked for several days a meter and a half from his house. The view was blocked, while whoever was in the motorhome could see into his property and could know the comings and goings. This sort of things creates "a great deal of unease".
Hardly any of the occupants are tourists. The Balearic Motorhome Association has told Sureda that very few people come to Mallorca for caravan holidays, precisely because there is a lack of sites for them to park. "But we don't care if they are tourists or not. What we ask is that the town hall takes measures."