Press Release: Thursday 9th June, 2016
ODZ projects should require two-thirds Parliamentary majority
Front Ħarsien ODZ said that it welcomed the proposal by the Nationalist Party which states that ODZ projects should be subject to two-thirds majority approval in Parliament. Front however insisted that in no circumstances should the 2/3 majority vote be sufficient for the application to go ahead.
Front Ħarsien ODZ reiterated its commitment to safeguard ODZ land from any unsustainable development and views the requirement of a two thirds majority for ODZ projects as an additional safeguard in those cases where ODZ development is approved by the Planning Authority following a full and transparent planning process. In case of PA refusal, this should be seen as final, and no vote should be taken in parliament.
Front Ħarsien ODZ said that if there is consensus on this proposal, the next step should be to define the parameters concerning which type of ODZ projects would require such approval. For example, projects qualifying for EIA should surely qualify. It should also be ensured that the process would complement SPED and the Planning Authority process. The two thirds majority requirement should also apply to any revision in development boundaries.
We also agree that SPED should be a more comprehensive policy document so as to avoid dubious loopholes and that existing policies regulating development in the ODZ should be reformed in a way that such development is further curtailed.