Press Release 31st August, 2016
Tribunal should confirm Wied Għomor refusal
Front Harsien ODZ is calling on the Planning Authority to confirm the refusal of a permit for a home for elderly situated in the Wied Ghomor quarry. Front representatives will be attending the appeal’s first sitting which will take place this Thursday.
“The project was so unacceptable that it was turned down by all 14 Planning Board members. The PA’s board’s decision reflected the widespread consensus in civil society against development in one of the few green lungs in the area. Moreover the project was deemed to be in breach of a number of policies included in the Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development which are aimed at limiting development to the urban area and obliges developers to consider sites within the urban area before making any ODZ proposal”.
Front Harsien ODZ is also calling on government to intervene by making it clear that it will withhold any permission for development on public land in the area.
“During the PA board meeting in May PA chairman Vince Cassar confirmed that Land Registry documentation confirmed that 3,000 square metres of the site are publicly owned. The government is therefore duty bound to inform the developers that it is objecting to any development on its own land.”
Front Harsien ODZ reiterated its position that the only acceptable way to rehabilitate quarries is through their conversion to agriculture land, affortestation projects and public parks.
“Rather than rehabilitating the quarry, the construction of a 133-room old people’s home would simply introduce urban development right in a protected valley. This is simply unacceptable.”
Front Harsien ODZ reiterated its support to the Swieqi and San Gwann local councils who have consistently opposed this unacceptable development in the ODZ.