The project to expand the Hotel Formentor in Puerto Pollensa, which has approval from the Balearic tourism ministry, is running into difficulties in obtaining the necessary building licence from Pollensa town hall.
The expansion isn't to the hotel building itself but to the "buildable area" that the hotel occupies - its grounds. The project would entail increasing this area by 961 square metres. This would represent growth of 5.65 per cent. A spa is one of the features that is planned for this project.
The proposed expansion meets the requirements of Balearic government legislation passed in 2020. This was specifically to do with economic reactivation; the legislation is commonly referred to as the Covid law. Hoteliers can expand the buildable areas (within limits) but cannot add floors or rooms to hotels themselves.
So far, so good. However, the proposal has hit the stumbling block that has affected development in Formentor for years; and not just development of the hotel. Urban planning regulations were suspended by the courts and the mandatory provision of services has not been completed, so only renovation and redevelopment licences can be given. The hotel is undergoing redevelopment, and the licence for this has been granted.
Pollensa's mayor, Tomeu Cifre, says that urban planning regulations are "not a parameter for growth". This has been explained to the tourism ministry. "Exemptions under the Covid law are for growth in cases where the buildable area has been exhausted. But this is not so with the Hotel Formentor, as according to the 1990 urban, 550 hotel beds can be built."
The town hall, Cifre adds, will be consulting the Council of Mallorca's urban planning department. Legal certainty is needed, "as we know that without provision of services, expansion licences cannot be given in Formentor".