The traditionally conservative local council of Santa Eularia has moved to ensure that their town and suburbs are protected as an area of tranquility. The council recently amended specific legislation to ensure that any future business ventures related to clubs, beach bars and cafe concerto licences, will be severely restricted. It comes after the launch of the Nikki Beach project last year which led to the development of its next door neighbor, the family themed Sol S’Aragamassa Hotel, which was refurbished over the winter into a 5 star luxury venue called ME Ibiza. Local residents feared that the peace, quiet and natural beauty of the area would be infringed upon if they did not take action to restrict further development in the area. Their fears were in my opinion are well grounded and its a classic case of been once bitten twice shy. The commercial and corporate dog remains a danger but hopefully the move by the Santa Eularia council will ensure that he will think twice before he comes back sniffing around the area.
Like a fox, developers are cunning masters at exploiting holes in the chicken coup of Ibiza law. The Booom project was able to open because of a loophole in a law that restricted new clubs from opening in the city of Ibiza. Booom successfully argued that it was not a new club and that they were re-opening an old one much to the ire of local residents. This is something that the Santa Eularia council have addressed, making sure that the Booom trick would not happen to them – limiting capacity to 500 people and area to just 400sqm. The new amendments to article 60.2 of the General Tourism law will only apply to new business so Nikki Beach, ME Ibiza and previously established beach bars and clubs will operate under the old laws.
Importantly, the move by the Santa Eulalia council sets both a precedent and standard for other councils to follow, if they are serious about protecting Ibiza’s natural beauty. While a lot of lip service is paid to the concept of protecting the islands unique natural beauty, very little action in law is ever taken to protect it. While the Sant Joseph and Sant Antonio councils would be considered business friendly, it is the San Joan council that holds most fear for environmentalists in Ibiza. It requires draconian laws to protect development in what is a natural reserve and parkland. The development of private houses aroundBenirras was facilitated by the San Joan council, much to the anger and annoyance of locals who suggested that there was corruption at play. Thankfully the people of Santa Eulalia have taken preventative measures and are fully aware of the fox that lurks in the shadows waiting for its moment to take advantage. They deserve much credit for their actions and sadly, seem to be the last defenders of Ibiza’s beautiful and peaceful environment.