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Motorhome owners demanding camping spaces

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On Saturday, a group of some forty motorhome owners will stage a protest in Palma to demand the establishment of official campsites with services where they can park.

One of the organisers of the protest, Francisco Javier Fuster, insists that town halls should give them consideration by creating areas as well as facilities for emptying dirty water and filling with clean water. There are only two points in Mallorca where this can be done – at a service station in Son Servera and at a green point on the Son Castelló industrial estate in Palma.

The main demand, though, is for campsites, which currently don’t exist in Mallorca. Their absence can be traced back to 1986 regulations that covered all forms of camping and which have since been updated, such as in the 2012 tourism law. These regulations make the establishment of campsites very difficult.

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Fuster says that motorhome users should be accepted as “a new type of family tourism” and he points to economic benefits – “we spend in small businesses, restaurants, service stations, etc.”. He stresses that they don’t live in the vehicles but use them at weekends with family and friends. “But as we don’t have our own spaces to share with other tourism, there are sometimes complaints. In any corner of Spain, no matter how small, there are always service areas for motorhomes, but not on the islands.”

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The protest on Saturday doesn’t have the backing of motorhome and caravanning associations in the Balearics. They say that it is important to “first exhaust all channels of dialogue”. The organisers reject this. “We have been following a path of dialogue for 20 years and nothing has been achieved. It has already been exhausted.”

In Mallorca, much attention has been given to the parking of motorhomes in Palma’s Ciudad Jardín, where residents complain that these include vehicles in which people are living. In August last year, the former president of the Balearic Caravan Club, Sebastià Forner, proposed using part of a Palma municipal park, Son Perera, as a site. He said that it was “very large” and that users “wouldn’t bother anyone”. Palma, he pointed out, was unlike many large cities on the mainland in not having a specific site for camper vans and motorhomes.

Away from Palma, there was the recent case of a campsite for caravans and motorhomes in Santa Eugenia being shut down by the Council of Mallorca’s agency for the defence of territory. It had space for some 140 vehicles but had no licence to operate and was on rustic land.

In Pollensa, the town hall made a suggestion to use some land by the sea at the entrance to Puerto Pollensa. The suggestion didn’t get very far and was knocked back by the Council of Mallorca. In Puerto Pollensa, there have been residents’ complaints about the parking of vehicles, especially at weekends, and there have been similar complaints elsewhere, such as in Son Serra de Marina.

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