The Balearic High Court has ruled that four chalets built in Llucalcari in the municipality of Deia in the 1980s will have to come down because they were constructed illegally. But the Deia council says that it will fight the ruling by every legal means at its disposal. Mayor Francesc Salas said that their first step would be to lodge an appeal with the High Court. He added that the council had not yet received official notification of the verdict, and when it did, its lawyers would study the matter. However, he stressed that the council would obey the law. The court sentence, dated July 19, gave the council one month to demolish the four chalets, ruling that the council had not legalised the chalets by approving a Special Protection Plan. All the legal rulings since the environmental group GOB started its campaign against the chalets 12 years ago have ended with a demolition order. The verdicts have been passed down by the Palma court, the Balearic High Court, the Supreme High Court and the Constitutional Court. The chalets were promoted by an Anglo-German company, Bancals, owned by Axel Ball, a partner of British magnate Richard Branson. Ball bought the Can Simó estate and obtained a licence to divide it into plots and build the four chalets, even though the area had been declared a ‘picturesque landscape' and ‘of cultural interest.' One of the chalets is reported to be used by Branson's Virgin company and another is owned by Spanish writer Fernando Schwartz. Residents in the area complained when efforts to build a road linking the chalets were made, alleging that it was a private road for the Hotel La Residencia, owned by Branson.

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