By Isha Sesay • 11 November 2019 • 23:00
Living in Spain: Cheapest and Most Expensive Rents
Credit: Engel & Völkers.
PALMA Town Hall has confirmed its intention to prohibit the building of swimming pools on rooftops in the city, generating strong criticism from developers.
In response to the town hall’s move to ban rooftop pools due to their high water consumption and to preserve the urban landscape, Luis Martín, the President of the Proinba Association of Developers, stated that the announcement has generated legal uncertainty. He believes that there should be an amendment to the city’s general urban plan and if pools are seen, then “that’s the fault of successive urban plans that have allowed crazy differences in the heights of buildings”.
José Miguel Artieda, the Vice-President of the Balearic College of Estate Agents, also agrees that restrictions should be framed through a revision of the urban plan, which will “allow for more time and for people to respond. He believes that “purchasers have been taken by surprise, having bought properties thinking they could install a pool and now they are not able to”. He added that justifying the decision with environmental and visual impact reasons is also not correct.
Residents’ groups see things very differently, arguing that pools are a threat to coexistence as they suggest that properties will be used as holiday rentals. Joan Forteza, President of the Federation of Residents’ Associations states that they are “a luxury that we cannot permit”, while they also create an environmental problem as salts and chlorine discharged from pools harm treatment plants’ purification systems.
Miquel Obrador, President of the Association of the City of Palma, says that water is precious and that building so many pools shouldn’t be allowed.
The Federation of Residents’ Associations estimate that there are up to 5,000 pools in Palma where many are illegal and that 25% of them are located on rooftops. Given the size of these pools, Forteza calculates that the amount of water needed to fill them is equivalent to the content of five water tanks.
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