This still doesn’t satisfy our doubts regarding redevelopment and expansion in the grounds | Pere Bota

On the basis that anything to do with the Hotel Formentor is usually worthy of comment by those of a critical inclination, the silence of the past few days has been deafening.

At the very least, one might have anticipated something along the lines of it’s very nice to hear what Four Seasons plan for the hotel once it opens, but this still doesn’t satisfy our doubts regarding redevelopment and expansion in the grounds.

But there was nothing, as the retaliation to the talk about possible court intervention - as suggested by the opposition Junts Avançam party last week - was to present the case for what will be a shining beacon of sustainability and one, moreover, with three times as many staff as previously who will be 20% better off than they were previously. In addition, the staff who are currently unable to work because there is no hotel to work in - other than the shell that is being redeveloped - are all being paid as if they were working.

As a way of stopping opposition dead in its tracks, the Four Seasons announcement took some beating. Look, among other things, there’s an environmental audit company which is providing monthly reports to ensure that all is good in an environmental way, while the whole new hotel is being designed in accordance with the very highest of environmental certification. It doesn’t get any higher than Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Gold certification. What more do you want!?

Well, what more is wanted has to do with the obscurities of planning regulations, allied to which is just a touch of political to-and-fro at the town hall as well as the threat of a lawsuit heading in the general direction of Tomeu Cifre from the lawyer representing an owner who has been unable to build in the general vicinity.

One does appreciate the need for rigorous regulations, not least because they were - once upon a time - treated at best as recommendations (usually to be ignored) rather than law. And that applied generally. However, there are also occasions when you think - for God’s sake just get on with it.

Tomeu, for his part, says that the town hall is now looking for a solution that will enable provision of services for the whole of the Formentor estate (not just the hotel) and development with the least amount of building possible. The goal of the town hall, the mayor adds, “is to build as little as possible in the area”.

Junts, meanwhile, and in conjunction with Podemos and Alternativa per Pollença, were back on the hotel car park warpath. Avoiding any mention of the Four Seasons sustainability and trebling of staff, they instead preferred to point out that the hotel is continuing to extract payment for a car park which has been under municipal ownership since June last year.