Environment Ministry finds novel use for bunkers and pillboxes

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20-08-2013
The Coastal Authority, a department of the central environment ministry, has devised an original use for the bunkers and pillboxes which can still be found on some beaches: it plans to convert about 100 of them into viewpoints or solariums. They were built during the Spanish Civil War which ended in 1939, since when they have been languishing, and many have become rubbish dumps, filled with plastic, used syringes, scrap metal and all types of rubble. Many of them have been painted with slogans such as SOS Mallorca, Salvem Sa Punta de n'Amer (SOS Majorca, Let's Save Sa Punta de n'Amer). The plan has been devised by Carlos Jove, who said that the constructions in poor state of repair will be demolished, but the remainder would be restored and adapted as viewpoints or solariums for use by bathers. The area selected for this novel project is Es Trenc and Ses Covetes near Campos and it is part of a wider project to preserve the dune system at these beaches. Most of the pilllboxes are to be found on the east coast, but they can also be found in the south. There are also some in the bay of Cala Millor, in the municipalities of Sant Llorenç and Son Servera. Public opinion is divided over what should be done with the constructions. Many people feel that these wartime constructions have no place on the beaches today and should be demolished. Others, however, feel that with the passage of time, the constructions now form part of the landscape and demolishing them would change the environment. Restoration will start at Es Trenc beach and if the results are satisfactory, will be extended to other parts of the coast. Jove did not give a time schedule for the work. The local environment ministry, which is generally at loggerheads with the central ministry, headed by former Balearic leader Jaume Matas, has yet to comment on the new scheme.

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