The Council is concerned with preserving heritage and appearance. | J.R.

It has so far taken some twenty years since Pollensa town hall first attempted to process a heritage catalogue, by which is meant a list of protected buildings. There is no prospect of there being a complete, agreed and revised catalogue in the immediate future. And that’s because the town hall’s taking the Council of Mallorca to court.

The Council, via its heritage department, does have a say in municipal catalogues, if for no other reason than somewhere along the line the possibility of compensation crops up and who is liable for this. Owners of properties, and this is the case in Puerto Pollensa, fancy demolition and redevelopment. Any who wouldn’t if these are in prime locations? Just think of the prices.

In more historical and aesthetic terms, the Council is concerned with preserving heritage and appearance. So is the town hall. But there is all the processing that needs to be attended to as well as the not inconsequential matter of building licences, their suspension (or not) and the fear of compensation.

The courts are now to be involved because the Council has rejected a town hall appeal against the Council’s heritage department having halted the processing of the revised catalogue and returned the whole thing to the town hall, demanding that it corrects a load of deficiencies. A 37-page report requires “technical changes” of such detail, according to Mayor Tomeu Cifre, that it practically demands the entire catalogue to redone file by file - or building by building, if one prefers.

Confused? I wouldn’t blame you if you were. This catalogue is the epitome of arcane heritage and planning regulations, allied to which are competing views among town hall parties as to what should be listed and how.

The main opposition group, Junts Avançam, is of the view that the mayor and his pals in the administration are merely looking to delay approval of the catalogue, in terms of how the Council of Majorca is requiring, for another couple of years. The mayor should not be “wasting any more time with judicial adventures” and just get on and do what the Council is telling him to.

The specifics of all this relate to old seafront houses in Puerto Pollensa, ones that the Council of Mallorca has been insisting should be listed. The mayor says that the Council had agreed, at one point, that these houses could be excluded from the catalogue and later incorporated without the town hall having to pay any compensation. He adds that the owners of two of the properties have applied for demolition licences.

On and on it all goes.