Convoy protest in Palma demanding proper facilities for motorhomes. | Pilar Pellicer


Palma town hall's new ordinance for motorhomes, camper vans and caravans has the backing of associations in the Balearics. Antonio Tomás of one of the associations for motorhome owners says: "Anyone who doesn't comply with the regulations should pay."

The revised regulations, which are due to be introduced towards the end of May, are partly designed to put an end to what are like settlements of motorhomes and similar. But while Tomás supports the town hall in this regard, he says that much of the problem stems from the lack of green points for dirty water.

José Luis González-Zarauz lives in a motorhome by choice, not by necessity. His is on the Son Güells industrial estate, where there are about 50 more motorhomes. He respects the regulations; he parks, but he doesn't camp. A traffic directorate instruction of last year drew the distinction. Camping is when there is something external to the vehicle, such as putting out table and chairs.

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"There are some anti-social people. I go every five days to the green point (on the Son Castelló industrial estate) to change the water, but many in Son Güells don't and throw it down the drain." González-Zarauz suggests that a way needs to be found for changing the water without having to drive to a different place so much.

The lack of affordable housing has pushed many people into living in motorhomes. As there are no designated areas in Mallorca, these settlements have sprung up, such as in Ciudad Jardín in Palma.

Miquel Caldentey, president of another association, says: "In no way are we against these people. We would like to see them relocated and for the town hall to provide them with services." He adds that the current situation is a problem since it generates a bad image for caravanners.

At the town hall, opposition parties are critical of the new ordinance. It focuses on fines and therefore hides a basic issue not being addressed by the ruling Partido Popular administration - the lack of affordable housing. PSOE and Més point out that there was unanimous agreement at the December council meeting to provide a proper response to the use of motorhomes as housing.