One illegal building that was demolished. | Archive


The ADT Agency for Defence of Territory, which enforces building legality on Mallorca's rustic land, took in just 4.3 million euros of fines of a total of 35 million imposed between 2009 and 2020.

A Council of Mallorca agency, the department for territory and planning says that there are various reasons why there is such a discrepancy. Above all, there is the time lag between fines being set and their being paid. It can take several years because of appeals. In 2020 alone, 83 administrative appeals were lodged (with 251 still pending resolution), while a further 31 were placed before the courts.

A lag is also caused because some fines are paid in instalments, and then there are offenders who are declared insolvent.

In order to improve the efficiency of fine collection, responsibility for this was handed to the Tax Agency in May 2018, but the IT system for dealing with this didn't become fully operational until October 2019. The system is now said to be functioning well. Between January and August this year, 1.5 million euros of fines were collected, more than for the whole of any other year.

The ADT notes that its priority is to ensure that building regulations are respected rather than raising fines revenue. In this regard, statutes governing its role that were established in 2015 allow for discounts of up to 90% if offenders abide by agency decisions and demolish illegal buildings within a specified period.

The agency's role is much bigger than it once was. This is due to the fact that many town halls have ceded responsibility to the ADT for rustic land planning enforcement.