The booths are replacements for wooden ones. | Elena Ballestero

1

A protest is said to have been organised for Saturday midday against the building of six ticket booths in Puerto Pollensa for use by charter hire companies and others involved in watersports activities. The government delegation in the Balearics, which authorises protests, says that no request has been made.

The booths are generating a good deal of controversy. Criticised because of their visual impact, they are the responsibility of the regional ports authority, Ports IB. The manager of Ports IB, Cristina Barahona, says that the project was agreed with Pollensa town hall and that the finishes will be similar to those of the new tourist information office, which is nearby.

When the project was put out to public consultation, there were apparently few issues. But once the building started, so did the objections. Mayor Tomeu Cifre says that the booths are in response to the increase in charter hire activity and to a problem caused by the Costas Authority in having denied temporary authorisation for certain activities. The new booths are replacements for wooden ones that Cifre says had deteriorated and were offering a "sorry image".

The main opposition group at the town hall, Junts Avançam, is among those objecting. Miquel Àngel March, Cifre's predecessor as mayor, says that existing town hall planning law "prevents the installation of elements that disfigure perspective and limit the visual field of maritime areas". Environmentalists GOB argue that the booths are in protected land-maritime public domain and question whether there is the necessary authorisation from the Council of Mallorca. If there is no authorisation, the booths should be removed.

Meanwhile, the APEAM association of maritime business activities supports the building of the booths. They are an improvement for nautical sector facilities and for the charter sector in particular. The association believes that the work is "fundamental and necessary" and essential for the development of Pollensa's port.