Mallorca Property - Cala Rajada Hotel Collapses Killing 4
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Tragedy struck in the North East Mallorca town of Cala Rajada on Wednesday when 4 construction workers were killed following the collapse of the hotel in which they were working. The buildings collapse came after 24 hours of torrential rain had battered Mallorca resulting in the heaviest daily rainfall for nearly 30 years.
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Although the weather conditions were not to blame, according to some surviving workers, questions are emerging regarding safety on the site, methods of operation and the fact that the formal Licence for the works had not been granted by the Capdepera Town Hall. Yesterday the Architect, Technical Architect (Aparejador) and the site Foreman were all arrested in connection with the incident while at the same times calls came in for the head of the Mayor due to the failure of the Town Hall to stop the works.
While only time will tell whether there were real Health and Safety issues at play or whether the extraordinary rainfall was the cause, questions do need to be asked as to why so many building projects start before Licences are issued (in this case the application was apparently made in August) and what can be done to streamline the planning process and improve building control procedures. Currently there are major problems in Mallorca of planning application delays, in many cases due to lack of resources. With Town Halls facing increasing funding deficit problems due in the main part to their over reliance on income from the very same grant of building Licences, now in free fall due to the collapse of the Mallorca property market, (estimates for the Palma Town Hall are that revenue this year is down by 40%) question marks exist over how this problem can be resolved at least in the short term. Furthermore with some many businesses reliant on the tourism sector (also suffering due to the recession) and the importance of undertaking building projects out of season, and completing the same before the summer season commences, there is constant and growing pressure to start projects before all planning consents are in place.
Comment: Politicians in Spain and Mallorca need to make a stand against general illegal building works and the flouting of building control measures. Apart from providing greater security and certainty for property buyers and investors, most importantly perhaps with this we will see the end of the huge death toll registered each year on Spain's building sites.
Please contact David Novi BA MPhil MRICS at http://www.mallorcacharteredsurveyors.com should you have any queries regarding building projects in Mallorca, obtaining licenses etc
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