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Last Tuesday, Palma's mayor, Jaime Martínez, announced the building of 13,000 new homes. Speaking during the State of the City debate a year after he took office, Martínez referred to a modification of the Palma general urban plan that will allow these homes to be built - "a percentage at a limited and social price".

The percentage had people guessing. The president of the developers association, Luis Martín, provided some clarity: "Of these 13,000 new homes, half will be protected (VPO) or limited price."

Neus Truyol of opposition party Més, formerly a councillor with responsibility for housing, said: "It has been shown that even if there is more supply, housing will not be cheaper. Now they will start to build and they will surely prioritise luxury homes."

Whatever the social character of these homes, they are going to take some considerable time to appear. The city's urban plan enables an immediate processing of developable land, but it contemplates that the 13,000 will be built over the next twenty years.

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While the housing department processes this land, it and the developers will have to wait for a crucial infrastructure improvement - the building of the new water-treatment plant.

Francisco Ducrós of PSOE, also in opposition, points out that architects have expressed a reluctance to build without the completion of the plant. "Who is going to develop without knowing if they will be able to deliver the homes?" He argues that if the plant is not up and running, finished homes will not have a municipal construction certificate and that it will not be possible to register or occupy them.

However, Martín is optimistic: "In the first year, 5,000 homes will be built. From mid-2026 we will be able to start seeing the start of the construction of new homes."

In which case though, or so it would appear, existing water and sewage infrastructure will have to suffice, as the new plant isn't scheduled to be built until 2027.