Nature reserve rubble row

Environmental activist group Terraferida has sparked fresh controversy on the island with a claim that a protected natural reserve has been partially buried under rubble dumped from the new FAN Mallorca shopping centre.

In a formal complaint filed to Palma City Council the ecological association has provided before and after satellite images of the Son Olivaret estate and witness testimonies. In its denunciation, Terraferida say they have uncovered the largest illegal waste dumping in Balearic history.

More than seven hectares of pristine natural land, protected by statute, have been entombed with roughly 100,000 cubic metres of rubble, the equivalent of 5,000 truckloads according to Terraferida’s official testimony. 

They claim local residents have confirmed suspicions that the area, known for its pine and olive trees and abundant wildlife, had been transformed into a quarry by the construction project. 

The 66,000 square metre mega-shopping centre opened amid great fanfare in September near Palma airport and is the region’s biggest by far. 

Officially opened by Carrefour Property but with many backers, the centre’s management responded quickly to the revelations by saying that they “had no knowledge under any circumstances of the alleged dumping.”

They point out that the entire construction process was overseen and certified by BREEAM, a global specialist in sustainable building. 

Terraferida have demanded that the city council and Balearic environment ministry launch an investigation to determine who was aware of the dumping and who is ultimately responsible. 

The group has made its presence felt across Mallorca this year: last month its members identified a golf course which had been siphoning off public water to irrigate its plants, and previously revealed that an entire Balearic beach had been made into a private club by wealthy tourists on superyachts. 

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