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Council charges 15 cases of unauthorised tourist rentals

MIRADOR PREMSAThe Formentera Council's Office of Land has announced its intent to pursue legal action for 15 violations of tourism and land use codes. The move, explained land and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer, is a way to protect law-abiding and tax-paying businesses from unfair competition. She voiced the Council's hope that a portion of the illegal rentals join Formentera's offer for long-term tenants, mitigating the housing crunch.

Legal action will be pursued with 14 apartments in multifamily buildings and one house on rural land where owners failed to declare rental activity. In a bid to regulate tourism, Balearic law 8/2012 (July 19) established penalties for illegal rentals of €4,000 and up.

“Formentera has got a lot riding on our visitors' satisfaction,” said Ferrer, “and accommodation looms large when that's rated”. The councillor said that fact explained periodic sweeps by the Council flagging rentals where owners lack the required credentials—“accreditation and controls,” Ferrer pointed out, “that can ensure minimum quality standards.”

Formentera's fishing and marine reserves

Foto flota pesquera formenteraThe Formentera Council department of fishing has joined forces with GEN-GOB to host a presentation this Friday of the island's fishing and marine reserves. The event starts at 11.00am in the CiF's new plenary hall, located in the Formentera day care centre in the Vénda des Brolls area of Sant Francesc.

“We put together this event to better understand how management of our marine spaces and natural resources is changing,” said rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell, “the goal being to become more in tune with European regulations and promote our own sustainability.” The councillor said talk would also turn on regenerating fishing resources to protect Formentera's local fleet of fishermen.

Programme
Following an introduction, the day will begin with a report by TRAGSATEC employee Pep Coll on Formentera's marine environment and eligibility for marine reserve status.

Two round-table discussions—at 12.30pm on marine reserves and protected undersea areas and 4.00pm on the trade's political considerations—will precede a 6.30pm expert-led discussion on scientific concerns. The day's closing ceremony will take place at 8.30pm. 

Reshuffling shade spots in Ses Salines park

Foto reposicio umbraclesThe Formentera Council is moving shaded areas in the car park adjacent to Pirata beach bar, located on the island's eastern coast. For the last month, crews have been preparing the site to reinstall pergolas, or shade-providing structures, across the lot. The work, which the Council says should be complete before next month, consisted in removing the previous structures, levelling the earth and installing the new pergolas.

The undertaking cost the Council €50,000. As Office of Environment head Daisee Aguilera pointed out, the lower-than-standard figure reflected a reduction applied by the coastal authority to the administration's lease of the land. Until 2016 the Council paid an annual sum of €45,000 to occupy the land where the parking area sits. In 2016, they paid €4,200. According to Aguilera, the discount stemmed from the Council's pledge to invest €50,000 into moving the pergolas.

Though that amount won't cover the cost of repositioning all of the shade spots in Ses Salines, Aguilera described the effort as ongoing and said she hoped a similar agreement could be reached this year as well.

With summer approaching, Formentera roads get one last fix-up

foto arranjament camins 2017The Formentera Council's Office of Infrastructure has done road surface improvements in the ses Illetes portion of ses Salines park, Can Marroig and estany Pudent. Department head Rafael González said the prep work ahead of the 2017 summer season would continue through mid-March and had already covered 10.1 kilometres of arterials.

Updates have included the road adjacent to estany Pudent and the three offshoots linking it with the main highway plus the following arterials: Mayans des Pujols, can Mossènyer, Rocabella, ses Canyes, ses Illetes, Llevant and Can Marroig.

As part of the effort, which consisted in levelling roads and compacting the earth below, González's department worked with the Office of Environment to avoid disturbing birds nesting in the area.

Next steps
Crews will now set out fixing up the roads that crisscross Punta Prima, with plans next week to move on to Migjorn. A subcontractor, currently stationed at along paths that cut through Es Cap de Barbaria, has also been brought in to provide assistance.

According to estimates the work will be finished by Easter. As Councillor González pointed out, “by and large, improvements are being made on dirt roads that are also included in the island's network of nature trails for cyclists and walkers”.

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premsa@conselldeformentera.cat