PRESS RELEASE 18.09.2015

English / Malti

Press Release 18th September, 2015

2011 decision on fireworks factory should be confirmed

Front Harsien ODZ is calling on the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal to confirm a previous decision by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority taken in 2011 to refuse a fireworks factory in the area known as Tal-Ghajn in Mellieha in the vicinity of Popeye village.

Front Harsien ODZ also expresses its solidarity with farmers in the area who have expressed concerns on their health and safety due to the fact that they work land in the vicinity of the proposed fireworks factory and calls for effective legislation to protect farmers from the risks posed by such developments.

The application dates back to 2009, only a year after MEPA issued an enforcement order against a number of illegal rooms and “the use of fireworks without a permit” on the same site. The application seeks to “sanction the manufacture of fireworks within agricultural premises”.

MEPA’s Environment Protection Directorate (EPD) and Planning Directorate had both strongly objected to the application, insisting that the use of the site for the manufacture of fireworks was questionable in view of its being in conflict with existing and approved agricultural uses. The Planning Directorate also warned the fireworks factory would pose a risk to neighboring farmers.

The EPD had also warned that the development would impinge on the rocky karstland’s habitat and garigue’s species and on two watercourses originating from Wied tal-Hanzira and Wied ir-Randa respectively. The EPD had warned that if allowed the development would obstruct the waterways.

The EPD had also warned that fireworks factories require adequate access for fire-fighting vehicles and vehicles carrying raw materials, which would result in further uptake of land.

The area has been on a waiting list for scheduling as a Level 2 Area of Ecological Importance for a number of years.

Front Harsien ODZ is also concerned that the new development will now be assessed according to a new policy on fireworks factories approved last year which facilitates the development of ODZ fireworks factories, except in areas scheduled for archeological or ecological importance.

“The approval of an application refused in 2011 would represent another sign of regression in environmental protection,” the Front warned.

*

Stqarrija Stampa 18 ta’ Settembru, 2015

Id-deċiżjoni tal-2011 fuq kamra tan-nar għanda tiġi konfermata.

Front Ħarsien ODZ qed isejjaħ lit-Tribunal ta’ Reviżjoni tal-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar biex jikkonferma deċiżjoni tal-MEPA meħuda fl-2011 li irrifjutat applikazzjoni għal bini ta’ fabrika tan-nar f’żona magħrufa bħala Tal-Għajn fil- Mellieħa fil-viċinanza ta’ Popeye Village.

Front Ħarsien ODZ qed jesprimi s-solidarjeta’ tiegħu mal-bdiewa li jaħdmu l-għelieqi f’ din iż-żona li huma inkwetati bl-impatt tal-fabrika li qed tiġi proposta fuq is-sigurta tagħhom. Il-Front qed isejjaħ ukoll għal liġijiet effettivi li jħarsu l-bdiewa minn dawn il-perikli.

L-applikazzjoni ġiet preżentata fl-2009 sena wara li l-MEPA ħarġet notifika ta’ enforzar kontra l-produzzjoni illegali ta’ nar f’xi kmamar fl-istess zona. L-applikazzjoni saret biex tirregolarizza din l-attivita illegali.

Il-Front ifakkar li kemm id-Direttorat tal-MEPA għall-protezzjoni ambjentali (EPD) u d-direttorat tal-ippjanar kienu oġġezzjonaw bis- sħiħ għal din l-applikazzjoni u sostnew li din l-applikazzjoni biex tinbena kamra tan-nar mhix kompatibli mal-użu agrikolu fiż-żona.

L-EPD kien ukoll wissa li l-iżvilupp propost jhedded ix-xagħri u żewġ nixxiegħat ta’ ilma f’ Wied tal-Ħanżira u Wied ir-Randa. Id-direttorat tal-ippjanar kien wissa li l-fabrika tan-nar tikkawża periklu lill-bdiewa.

L- EPD kien wissa wkoll li fabrika tan-nar toħloq bżonn ta’ iktar infrastrattura biex ikunu jistgħaw jgħaddu inġenji tat-tifi tan-nar f’każ ta’ xi inċident.

Il-Front Ħarsien ODZ jinnota wkoll li ż-żona ġiet identifikata mill- MEPA stess bħala waħda li potenzjalment tista’ titqies bħala żona ta’ importanza ekologika imma l-ebda deċiżjoni għada ma ttieħdet dwar dan.

Il-Front hu mħasseb ukoll li d-deċiżjoni tat-tribunal se tkun ibbazata fuq il-policy il-ġdida dwar l-iżvilupp ta’ fabrikiki tan-nar approvata fl-2014. Din il-policy tiffaċilita l-iżvilupp ta’ kmamar tan-nar fl-ODZ bl-eċċezzjoni ta’ żoni ta ’importanza ekologika u arkeologika.

“L-approvazzjoni ta’ dan l-iżvilupp li ġie miċħud fl-2011 jibgħat messaġġ li l-protezzjoni ambjentali f’Malta qed tkomplu tmur lura.”

 

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