“Rural Development Guidelines should be withdrawn”

Press Release 14.02.2017
Front Harsien ODZ welcomed the fact that both the Labour and Nationalist
parties are making it clear through their media statements that they oppose
ODZ applications *for new dwellings  in rural areas*.
*While describing the application withdrawn by Bezzina  which  would have
extended three roofless rooms to accommodate a completely new dwelling, a
drive-in and a swimming pool as unacceptable, Front Harsien ODZ notes that
a number of similar applications involving the reconstruction of
countryside ruins have already been approved by the Planning Authority
thanks to the Rural Development Guidelines which were approved in 2014.*
“The Rural Development Guidelines published in 2014 facilitate ODZ
development which could have a terrible cumulative impact on Malta’s
countryside. Given the recent statements by the two major political
parties, we expect the government to ask the Planning Authority to replace
the guidelines approved in 2014 with a  more restrictive policy.”.
*In particular Front Harsien ODZ calls for a clear ban on the
reconstruction of countryside ruins to create new dwellings and for the
repeal of police 6.2.A. which permits the redevelopment of buildings with a
historical or vernacular interest as dwellings and 6.2.C which permits the
reconstruction of any building which existed prior to 1978.
*”Rather than simply exposing such cases when it suits partisan
interests as was the case with One TV, which is usually non-critical on ODZ
development such as the Zonqor proposal, political parties are expected to
make sure that policies do not pave the way for more construction in the
countryside.”  *
*Front Harsien ODZ also calls on all MPs on both sides, both  as owners and
in their professional role as architects not to exploit loopholes in
existing policies to accommodate unsustainable ODZ developments.*
Front Harsien ODZ has consistently objected to all unsustainable  ODZ
proposals in this regard.
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