Magalluf - where VPO social housing is already being developed. | Jaume Morey

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Amendment to the Council of Mallorca's territorial plan envisages the possibility of building development in tourist resorts but only under limited conditions - for VPO social housing, for public facilities, or to improve areas that have become degraded.

It will be up to town halls how they go about this and it would require changes to municipal urban plans. The measure was already contemplated in the Council's PIAT plan for intervention in tourist areas, and the territorial plan now includes it.

Prior to the approval of PIAT in 2020, a different plan prevented any type of growth. This was POOT, the plan for organisation of the tourism offer. Urban plans have operated on the basis of distinguishing between development for different purposes, POOT having created a form of quota system for the allocation of land for tourism reasons. It is a system of planning which has existed since the 1990s.

The councillor for territory, Maria Antònia Garcías, says that the territorial plan will give the possibility of developing VPO homes at an affordable price on tourist-allocated land, these homes being "necessary". But it will not mean, she explains, that future residential places will be "right next to hotels".

Garcías rejects the idea that social housing tenants can cause problems, saying that the Balearic government avoids creating "VPO neighbourhoods". There is distribution of this type of housing.

The Council's director for territory, Miquel Vadell, observes that when POOT was introduced in the mid-1990s, a tourism model totally separate from residential areas was envisaged. But there is a "complementary offer" in tourist areas - shops, bars - and he adds that one of the objectives will be addressing seasonality and so preventing resorts from being completely closed during the winter.