Press Release 05.03.2016

Press Release 5th March, 2016

Quarries should not serve as pretext for old people’s homes

Front Harsien ODZ insists that disused quarries should be rehabilitated, landscaped and re-used for agricultural or public recreational purposes and not used as a pretext for more residential and industrial development.

For this reason the Front is objecting to the construction of a 133-room old people’s home in the Wied Ghomor valley, the dimensions of which would occupy 8% of the quarry and rise two storeys above the quarry. A report by the planning directorate is recommending the approval of this development.

“We recognize that such quarries are in private ownership and are presently eye sores. But this should not be an excuse for new buildings in rural areas. This is because such development will expose ODZ areas to more traffic.”

We also note that the local plan stipulates that any new building is to “occupy a minimal part of the site” and that in 2011 MEPA was arguing that only 5% of the site should be developed.

We also note that according to MEPA’s Social Facilities and Community Care Topic Paper old people’s homes should be located close to or within a town or village centres to ensure the full integration of the elderly in local communities.

To address the problem of eye sores on private land in its recommendations on the reform of the lands department the Front has proposed the introduction of a procedure to enable government to expropriate private land which includes eye sores. A compensation fund administrated by the new lands authority, the environment authority and the planning authority should be established for this purpose.

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