Santa Catalina residents are making frequent complaints about noise. | Pere Bota

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The Santa Catalina district of Palma has become a focus of attention because of resident complaints about noise - especially that of parties that spill out onto the streets at night from local establishments. This is now creating some political tension. On Tuesday, the councillor for the model of the city, Neus Truyol, criticised the mayor, José Hila, for having suggested that residents complain the moment that people go out on the streets, "which is not a crime". Truyol is a member of Més and Hila is a member of PSOE; they are their parties' respective candidates for mayor in May 2023.

Neus Truyol observed that all neighbourhoods deserve respect, if they are affected by "touristisation" and nightlife and restaurant "pressure", which can generate "poor coexistence" (with residents)."The town hall has the responsibility to ensure a balance between economic activity, people's rest and good coexistence."

The councillor drew attention to the new urban plan for Palma, one that she helped to draft, which stipulates that there can be no more than three establishments (bars, clubs, for example) on a 100-metre stretch. "This measure would greatly reduce the level of activity in Santa Catalina, if it did not have the number of establishments it already has. It is not a solution for now, because they have their licences."

Meanwhile, the town hall's urban planning department, for which Truyol is responsible, has approved the extension to a restaurant on the C. Fábrica. The councillor says that this is "an unfortunate coincidence". The licence to expand the restaurant was applied for in 2017. This was turned down, but the owners lodged an appeal. Regulations at the time placed limits on new restaurants but not on extensions to existing ones. The appeal therefore had to be accepted.