The controversial beach regeneration project in Majorca was halted yesterday, as demanded by the Balearic government on Thursday night, however the director general of seaboard control gave the green light for work to continue yesterday afternoon. The dredging of sand off Banyabulfar to help repair the storm damage to can Picafort beach has been approved by the Minister for the Environment in Madrid and has split the Majorcan community with environmentalists and the government calling on central government to stop on the one hand and Can Picafort residents, the business community and hotel sector adamant the work must go ahead as planned to make sure that the beaches are ready by Wednesday, the start of the summer season. The Balearics' government lodged an official appeal against the Ministry for the Environment and the project yesterday afternoon once work had been ordered to recommence. The government's spokesperson, Antoni Garcias, said that Palma is tired of Madrid and the Environment Minister, Jaume Matas, constantly operating behind its back and hopes that the courts will block the project. Garcias said that once the project is stopped, then the Balearics government in co-operation with Matas, can find the adequate solution. The government also believes that far too much sand is being dredged up. Garcias said that it would take a lorry “900 years to transport the amount being extracted from the sea bed.” The dredging is costing six million euros a day and it will take another ten days to complete repair work in can Picafort. The “Volvox Iberia” dredger works through the night extracting sand and normally reaches Can Picafort at 11am. However yesterday it was prevented from dumping the sand until 2pm.

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