Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Press Release: Ramblers say "No" to Mellieha ODZ villas

Ramblers say "No" to Mellieha ODZ villas

The Ramblers Association of Malta has grave concerns about the proposed building of ninety-eight bungalows on the slopes of Marfa Ridge as an extension to the Mellieha Bay Hotel. RAM strongly objects to any development in this area. Besides being, without any doubt, outside the development zone (ODZ), the northern side of Mellieha Bay is protected by MEPA as a coastal zone of natural beauty, a buffer zone to sea cliff habitat, and an ecologically and scientifically important area.

In the light of the Prime Minister's recent statement that "ODZ is ODZ", the development application for these villas should be rejected outright by the planning authority.

RAM appeals to the Prime Minister to hasten the MEPA reform process and pass the necessary legislation which will put a definite stop to all speculation in areas outside the designated development zone. This type of development is not only detrimental to our natural heritage and its enjoyment by us Maltese, but also accelerating the decline of Malta as a traditional tourist destination. It is the very negation of existing regulations and of how sustainable tourism should be promoted. This application is nothing less than a get-rich-quick scheme disguised as a tourism development, by erecting buildings in the name of tourism in ODZ areas, then turning them into expensive residential accommodation a few years later.
ODZ land is for all the public to enjoy quietly and peacefully. RAM calls for common sense, apparently in short supply at MEPA, to prevail.

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