The new freeze on marinas in the Balearics has directly hit seven projects, involving between 1.800 and 2.800 new moorings. The director general for the Balearic seaboard, Onofre Rullan, said yesterday that although the new moratorium on marinas and nautical installations was partially approved last Friday, the freeze will come into full effect within the next three years. The final draft of the new legislation has to be completed and approved over the next six months and quite simply prohibits the construction of new marinas and existing marinas to be extended by more than ten per cent of their present size. According to Rullan, news of the freeze has come as no surprise to the development companies behind the marina projects which will be put on ice. Rullan said that the marina freeze was first hinted at some time ago and all of the developers knew that it was a possibility. Balearic Environment Minister, Margalida Rossello, said that the new legislation, which will replace the previous directive which was over ruled by the High Court in 1994, will ensure that the Balearics provides quality services and facilities to the nautical industry while taking into full account all environmental aspects. The government will use the new directive to “control and manage” the Balearics' coastline while also trying to meet demand for moorings. Rossello said that there are 30'000 registered recreational vessels in the Balearics, on top of which between 5.000 and 8.000 extra craft enters Balearic waters and marinas every summer. Rullan said that only 20'000 vessels will find a mooring with the remaining boats having to drop anchor off the coast and that is another feature of the industry the government wants to tackle and regulate. Rossello said that the government has already drawn up plans to regulate the number of boats mooring up off the coast near Portocolom, Sóller and Andratx, in Majorca; Ciutadella, Fornells and Cala Moló in Minorca; and Sant Antoni in Ibiza. The government does not however have the power to enforce a general freeze on marina development, but intends to target the areas under the most pressure.

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