The excavators movein to eliminate the swimming pool at Can Picafort. | Lola Olmo

There was a good deal of sadness in Can Picafort on Wednesday when the excavators moved in and started the process of eliminating the swimming pool by the Mar y Paz Hotel. The pool, which had been there for 52 years, was emblematic for the fact that its whole existence more or less corresponded to how long Can Picafort had been a major tourist resort in Mallorca.

But it was also significant because this is the spot where something else emblematic of Can Picafort takes place each year - people dive into the sea for the duck swim of the fifteenth of August. The Mar y Paz is absolutely embedded in Can Picafort tradition and not just a tourist tradition. The pool was every bit as much a place for residents as it was for holidaymakers, while the duck swim is absolutely an event for local people.

While Santa Margalida town hall plans to create a square with banked terraces surrounding it in the space where the pool once was, the environmentalists GOB are challenging this. They are insisting that this space should be restored to its natural state and are using the same argument that they presented to challenge the building of the ticket booths in Puerto Pollensa.

What GOB say is that the Coasts Law of 1988 only permits the occupation of public maritime-land domain, which this is, if a certain activity or installation can’t be located somewhere else. A square, you would have to say, could be sited pretty much anywhere. The town hall, meanwhile, is pressing ahead with processing its project.