Saturday, May 31, 2014

Son Bosc All Over Again?

Two weeks after highlighting Muro's "model town hall", there is more evidence of good things at the council and also evidence of Muro suddenly having found itself propelled very much into the spotlight. The good housekeeping that has left the town hall with zero debt has not, as mayor Martí Fornes said a fortnight ago, meant that there is no investment, a package of just over two million euros spend having been proposed by Fornés's coalition administration, including 400,000 euros to be spent, subject to agreement from higher authority, on the first phase of the "boulevard" in Playa de Muro. This apart, an issue which has raised itself is one that had appeared to have been forgotten about. And it is one that will be destined to once more kick off all the debate and argument that surrounded it in the past. It is the building of the golf course on the Son Bosc finca next to Albufera.

The town hall's tourism plan, approved thanks to the coalition's majority at the council, mentions the golf course as part of potential development in 2014 to 2015. A report is to be presented in January next year, so there is nothing, as yet, which indicates the restarting of work on the finca that was stopped during the last regional government's administration.

At the heart of the argument over Son Bosc has been the environmental consequences of the course being built. All manner of flora and fauna have in the past been invoked as reasons for it not being built. They include everything from a rare orchid to the mating habits of a bee-eating bird. The construction has been referred to international bodies, such as the Ramsar wetlands secretariat, as well to national and Mallorcan governmental bodies. Experts on this and that have been consulted and have offered opinions. The views of politicians and hoteliers have been made clear, those of the former being pro and con, those of the latter being firmly pro.

The course's promoter is a company which comprises shareholders from hotel companies. The largest shareholder is Grupotel. Fornés used to work for them. But although hotelier interests are to the fore and although Son Bosc would naturally entail transformation of the land, does it automatically follow that those interests would be especially harmful to the environment and eco-system? There is now a great deal more sensitivity applied to the building of golf courses than might once have been the case. Consequently, a course can be created in such a way that it is in harmony with the immediate environment.

Son Bosc has really been a tale of political dogma and fighting as much as it has been an argument over the environment. At one point during the last administration (PSOE-led), it looked as though the course would happen, and indeed work did start. However, the moment that President Antich threw the Unió Mallorquina out of his coalition and installed Gabriel Vicens of the PSM Mallorcan socialists as environment minister, the development was likely to be halted. And so it was. The PSM and the UM hated each other's guts, and Son Bosc was one of their battlegrounds.

Fornés will know that he has a battle on his hands in having the finca's development declared as being in the island's general interest. He might hope for regional government support, but with elections moving closer, would the PP risk any more potentially negative publicity than it already has? Doubtful. The chances of the course ever actually being built must still be considered slim.

Index for May 2014

Bikinis - 15 May 2014
Can Picafort nautical sports and club - 23 May 2014
Complementary offer confederation - 7 May 2014
Eco-tax - 6 May 2014
Education conflict - 25 May 2014
Football and tourism - 14 May 2014
Giants of Mallorca - 22 May 2014
Holiday lets (private apartments) - 5 May 2014
Ironman - 9 May 2014
Jaume Sastre, hunger strike - 28 May 2014
Land law chaos - 20 May 2014
Llorenç Roses Bermejo, Palmanova - 12 May 2014
Magalluf 25 years ago - 21 May 2014
Mallorca land legislation - 13 May 2014
McDonald's Spain Brekkie Wrap ad - 26 May 2014
Microbreweries - 3 May 2014
Muro town hall - 16 May 2014
Museums - 18 May 2014
New tourism policy - 1 May 2014
P2P tourism - 8 May 2014
Partido Popular discount card - 17 May 2014
Partido Popular voting against oil prospecting - 11 May 2014
Podemos and European elections - 27 May 2014
Pollensa wine fair and wine history - 2 May 2014
Primark and Mallorca's retail history - 30 May 2014
Prostitution and violence - 4 May 2014
PSOE: the future - 29 May 2014
Son Bauló dolmen - 19 May 2014
Son Bosc golf - 31 May 2014
Stone fair - 24 May 2014
Wine Days Mallorca - 10 May 2014

No comments: