Ibiza Town Squares are ‘No Go’ & Tree Cull & Roman Discovery
- photos: J.A. Riera (Diario de Ibiza) and Lydie-Anne Hampson
- words: Claire B
Vara del Rey
If you haven’t been into Ibiza Town for a couple of weeks, you’ll be in for a bit of surprise next time you go! Work on the pedestrianisation of the Vara de Rey is in full force, which has led to the square being cordoned off and all the roads and paving stones dug up, resulting in all the bars and cafes around the square losing their terraces and a lot of the space outside their premises.
So it’s not possible to have long, lingering drinks or lunches in the winter sunshine, watching Ibiza life go by at the moment and for the foreseeable future (I’ve no idea when the works are scheduled to finish, but looking at the current state of the square, it won’t be soon).
Plaza del Parque
To make matters worse, work also started a couple of weeks ago to ‘refurbish’ the neighbouring Plaza del Parque. The scenario is the same – the square is fenced off, all the businesses have lost their outside terrace space and all the tiles and paving stones are being dug up.
The impact of all this is two-fold. Many of the bars and cafes have simply shut whilst the work is in progress as without their outside space, they don’t really have space to operate, plus who wants to socialise on the edge of what is effectively a building site! And I’ve heard that they’re not being compensated for loss of earnings and have to continue paying rents, etc. (these businesses usually do well in the winter months). The work in Plaza del Parque is scheduled to finish in February.
For winter residents it means that two of the popular daily and nightly hangouts for socialising and people watching are now no-go areas.
It seems ludicrous that the Ayuntamiento decides to do both of these projects at the same time. I understand that some of the work required for the Vara de Rey involves replacing rainwater and sewage pipes in streets close to Plaza del Parque but surely the entire square didn’t need to be dug up and the tiles replaced at the same time?
Meanwhile, history lovers will be pleased to hear that in Calle Avicena, just off Plaza del Parque, the remains of what is thought to be a Roman wall have been discovered during the works, which have to be investigated and documented by archaeologists before work can continue. Further excavations will be made to ascertain the extent of the wall and will surely slow down the progress of the replacement of the pipes.
Cine Serra Demolition
Also affecting the area over the coming months, will be the demolition of the old Cine Serra building on Vara de Rey which is making way for the construction of a new 5 star hotel. Work is scheduled to begin in 2 months time and the new hotel should open in May/June 2018.
So this winter there’s lots of disruption in Ibiza Town and many of us who enjoy hanging out in the squares in the winter, will have to find new places to go!
Plaza del Parque Tree Cull
- Nick Gibbs
The Diario de Ibiza has reported on the controversial works to cull the trees that have been a feature of the Plaza del Parque for several decades.
Talking to those in the area they received differing views.
“It has to be a nuisance for the neighbours. The green is beautiful, but there are a lot of trees”, reflected Toni Riera, who remembers the square before there was any planting at all.
Antonia Roig remembers when the square was full of pines, more than 20 years ago: “Maybe there are too many trees,” she says.
Manuel Patricio agreed with the cull, stating that he understands the complaints of the local business people who have complained of the trees becoming too large and causing problems in the pavements and encroaching to surrounding buildings.
Paco said he hopes that the City Council will make the right choices in what to plant in place of the removed trees, stating it is “pitiful” for such established trees to disappear.
Although it bothered her “to have to sweep the debris” of falling leaves, the person in charge of the shop of Natura, Maria del Mar Sánchez, prefers to respect the trees. She explained that with the works in progress their shop is selling half of what it normally would do at this time of year, about 20,000 euros less, though unlike most businesses in the area they are going to remain open throughout the disruption.