Game on for Ibiza golf courses?

An area between Cala Tarida and Cala Conta has once more been under discussion this month as the location for a brand new golf course. The rural area adjacent to urban land, land with urban permissions and a plot allocated for a hotel, had been earmarked several years ago by the former municipal government. The city of San Jose and Council of Ibiza are now debating the project once more. Whilst Javier Mari from San Jose’s Town Planning confirmed there had been dialogue, there is “no firm proposal”. Although he was keen to point out the proximity of the water treatment plant in Cala Tarida to provide irrigation for the golf course.

The previous Partido Popular (PP) municipal government, before 2007’s political change, envisaged an 18 hole golf course across an area of 800,000m² set alongside a five star hotel. At the time, in July 2006, the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) opposed the plans saying the “driest part of the Island” was not the most suitable. Today, Javier Mari says “we have never been opposed to golf courses” and the conversations rumble on. At least the land is already zoned for development so, should the project get a green light, lengthy planning applications would be avoided.

Cala Tarida/Cala Conta is not the only golf course on the table. Two possible sites in Benimussa (between San Jose town and San Antonio) and Playa d’en Bossa (on Ibiza’s southern coastline) are also in the frame.  Of the three, only Playa d’en Bossa has officially applied for planning permission. Already host to the upmarket Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel which opened in 2011 and the Ushuaia Tower which opened this summer, developer Grupo Empresas Matutes has plans for an 18 hole public golf course with driving range and golf school. According to a survey from the Balearic Institute for Advanced Social Studies, commissioned by the developer, almost seven out of ten (68%) Ibizans were in favour of a golf course in Playa d’en Bossa believing it would increase quality tourism.

Within metres of Cala Conta’s proposed golf course is the eponymous Cala Conta – a brand new development of 32 luxury homes on the west coast of Ibiza looking out on the most famous sunset in the Balearics.  Set in natural park, the gated resort of Cala Conta is just 500 metres from the beach, billed as one of the ten most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean, with stunning shallow turquoise waters and a handful of bars and restaurants.

Daniel Chavarria Waschke, Managing Director of Ibiza Sotheby’s International Realty, says, “Neighbouring Mallorca is particularly known for its golf, hosting 24 of the archipelago’s 26 golf courses, and a lot of direct and indirect income is generated for the Island as a result. Ibiza is missing out, particularly as the climate allows for year-round play and therefore a welcome off-season boost to the tourism industry. Understandably there are environmental concerns, not least regarding irrigation on an already dry Island, but if these can be allayed, I am certainly in favour of expanding Ibiza’s golf offering.”