Rethinking the junction of Rafal Rubí on the main road

A brief was sent jointly to the media:

“A petition to reconsider the junction of Rafal Rubí was formulated by the representatives of six entities related to the culture and land of Menorca and is part of the controversy concerning the design of the main road. We think, however, that no other point of the road has generated as great a consensus between the entities as that concerning the modification of this junction. The work completed so far justifies their view and we consider that there are various aspects increasing the necessity for revision.

  1. The technical report on the environmental impact of the project of the Me-1 road already warned that this junction was out of proportion, but it did not go into the proximity of the archaeological heritage site and so there was no consideration of any possible effects on the navetas.
  1. In this particular case, first the construction project of the road was approved (16 September 2013) and then the boundary of the surroundings of the navetas (11 November 2013).
  1. The importance of the boundary of the monuments is defended by the Law 12/1998 of the Patrimonio Histórico (Historical Heritage) of the Balearic Islands. Article 35 says that catalogued properties declared of historical and cultural interest are inseparable from their environment. Likewise, article 41 regulates the criteria for any intervention and says that the protected environment of the buildings of cultural interest cannot be altered nor the architectural character and landscape of the area nor any interference made to their ability for clear sightings.
  1. The boundaries of the areas of the archaeological sites are made following the “Instructions for the protection of historic sites” approved in part by the Decree 2563/1966. At the moment, there is no other document to rely on for dealing with these protected areas and work is carried out, therefore, with a law of more than 50 years old.
  1. Notwithstanding, a European Agreement on the Landscape approved in 2000 was ratified by Spain in 2008. From 2003, the Ministry of Culture developed a “Cultural Landscapes Programme”.
  1. Also concerning the aesthetics, number 68 of the Law of Town Planning (before number 69, the Law of Planning and Use of Land) which is and was for direct application and says “Conforming with the state law of the land, the installations, constructions and buildings should be adapted, in their key features, with the environment in which they are situated, meaning: a) constructions in adjacent places or which form part of a group of buildings of artistic, historic, archaeological interest, or are typical or traditional should be in harmony, or when, if not close to buildings, have some great importance or quality”. We consider the existence of the two navetas is covered by this act.
  1. The project of the Me-1 does not only include the type of junction already finished at the entrance to Alaior, but also other types of intersections that have been built or are forecast along different points of the road, made for access and which do not impair the general layout.
  1. In the reply which UNESCO has given for the candidacy of Menorca Talayotica as a World Heritage site, it has asked that the archaeological monuments be included with their surrounding natural landscapes.

The petition presented to modify the junction of Rafal Rubí explained that the way in which to respect the surroundings of the navetas would be for a junction at which the highest point of the structure is not above the level of the base of the archaeological site. The cultural landscape requires the integration of the surroundings with the archaeological site and does not allow the building of a structure which breaks the dominating view that megalithic monuments have always had.

Thus, it seems justifiable for an external in depth report to be made because until now the problem has not been completely considered. We are continuing to ask that the Consell Insular makes the decision to support the modification of the project with respect to security and to the landscape, neither of which is incompatible with the other.”

Signed by: The College of Architects, the Ateneu de Maó, the Institute of Menorcan Studies, the Archaeological Section of the Association of Graduates in Philosophy, Humanities and Sciences, Museum of Menorca and GOB.

GOB notes the stagnation of politics in environmental protection of the land and sea

The different island sections of GOB came together over the days of 15 and 16 June, in Mallorca, for the meeting of the Inter Island Board of Directors. This reunion happens annually, rotating between the various Balearic Islands. On this occasion a résumé of their activities and the interisland accounts were given for 2017, audited externally. In addition the budget for 2018 was approved. Continue reading GOB notes the stagnation of politics in environmental protection of the land and sea

Urban growth and a limit on tourist accommodation

Little by little new urban growth along the coast of Menorca is being announced. It concerns the amount of coastal building for summer use adding extra pressure on an already saturated high season with its overstretched services and supplies. There are the means for confronting the problem but it is up to the public to ask for it to be done. Continue reading Urban growth and a limit on tourist accommodation

Extra time for collecting support for the allegations made against the seismic prospecting: until 3 July

Documents sent by institutions and companies to the relevant Ministry advised that the application procedure for the project for seismic prospecting had many defects. As a result, there is now extra time available to publicise information on this matter to more people. Continue reading Extra time for collecting support for the allegations made against the seismic prospecting: until 3 July

26,000 people sent allegations made against the projected seismic prospecting in the Balearic Sea

26,000 people sent allegations to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation made against MedSalt for their latest project for seismic prospecting in the sea around the islands.

The combined efforts of the Aliança Mar Blava succeeded in achieving a huge public response so that, in just a month, a campaign was formed and signatures, mainly from the Balearic Islands, were collected.

Many associations, collectives, commercial and private individuals became heavily involved. Very noticeable were the tables set up in the streets for the platform of Menorca Diu No (Menorca Says No). It shows what can be achieved when people combine their efforts.

Thanks to appeals made by the legally registered associations pointing out various formal deficiencies in the application procedure for the project there is, consequently, a new opportunity for explaining the issues to the public and allow an increase in the number of people making the allegations against the project during the next few weeks.

We are promoting different initiatives to gain a moratorium on any new projects for seismic prospecting with guns using compressed air as well as exploring for hydrocarbons. In addition, the Central government in the Congress of Deputies is being pressed to stop vetoing the law for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea that stops projects of this style. This was approved unanimously in the Balearic Parliament.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped.




Conscientious Ecology