Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Qala development

NGOs insist 'green element' should have prevailed in Qala development considerations

Environment NGOs this afternoon kept up their pressure against the granting of a permit for a development on Qala Ridge, insisting that where policies were contradictory, Mepa should have taken a position which was least harmful to the environment.

The Ramblers' Association, Flimkien Ghal-Ambjent Ahjar, Nature Trust and representatives of Qala council said at a press conference outside the Mepa offices in Floriana that the case over the redevelopment of the Xerri l-Bukkett restaurant was characterised by conflicting Mepa policies.

Architect Anthony Fenech Vella, speaking for the groups, insisted that the 'green element' should have prevailed in such circumstances, especially in Gozo, which had been declared as being an eco-island.

He said this site had been listed as a rural settlement and also a belvedere. And while one policy said building should not exceed two floors without a basement the ridge edge development policy allowed a basement and three floors.

Astrid Vella, speaking for the FAA, argued that in cases such as this, where a development permit was referred to appeal, building works should be stopped until a final decision was taken.

The NGOs also said they were considering holding a national protest next month over the state of the environment.

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