Saturday, 23 January 2010

Clay from Baħrija site dumped illegally - Ramblers

Clay from Baħrija site dumped illegally - Ramblers

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

The Ramblers' Association yesterday alleged that clay excavated and removed from the Baħrija site belonging to former Nationalist Party president Victor Scerri was illegally dumped on public land.

Journalists were taken to a site in Landrijiet, limits of Baħrija, where a large swathe of garigue area was smoothed over with clay allegedly deposited there by trucks coming from Dr Scerri's site. Dr Scerri's architect, Robert Musumeci, said the allegations were news to him. "I am unaware of any illegality to this effect," he said when contacted.

Ramblers' Association president Lino Bugeja and secretary Alex Vella said they and two other unnamed witnesses had followed the trucks to the site and estimated that about 400 cubic metres of clay were deposited there.

The site is in an area identified by government for the construction of wind energy turbines.

Mr Bugeja said the excavation of clay and its removal from the Baħrija site went against the Malta Environment and Planning Authority's policies and called on the authority to stop the works.

"We want to save this site from further destruction because we fear that this construction would set a precedent for other development in the area," Mr Bugeja said, insisting a Natura 2000 site had to be accorded the highest level of protection.

He insisted that Mepa seemed to be unaware of the amount of excavation that took place on the site because in the original plans submitted by Dr Scerri's architect no reference was made to the site's varying levels.

Mr Musumeci was unfazed by this accusation. "So far, works have been carried out according to a valid permit," he said.

The latest allegations are a continuation of the long-drawn saga, which erupted on the eve of the European Parliament elections last year.

When asked, Mr Bugeja denied the association's actions amounted to a crusade against Dr Scerri. "We have nothing against Dr Scerri. All we are interested in is protecting the environment for us and future generations," he said.

Dr Scerri's construction, a farmhouse, is covered byMepa permits. The development is situated at the bottom of the valley, which is a designated Natura 2000 site.

In August last year, Mepa had revoked the last permit issued to Dr Scerri for an extension after it was discovered that an environmental screening process was ignored.

However, the other permits for the reconstruction of a farmhouse remained in place.


Romano Cassar (1 hour, 39 minutes ago)
J Farrugia, in his infinite wisdom, says: "lil Victor Scerri ma jriduhx jirranga l-post li kellu hemmhekk". Check out this link for some photos of the supposed dwelling that was in the area:
If every "dwelling" like this were to be replaced with a villa, our little remaining countryside would be chock⋅a⋅block with buildings.
Does Mr or Ms J Farrugia know (or care) how many environmental and development regulations and policies were broken, with the blessing of the MEPA DCC board, in order to approve these four applications?
Has he or she ever visited the area to try to comprehend the magnitude of this sacrilege?
Will he or she ever ever learn to view issues other than in a partisan political manner?
Will he or she ever realise that this sort of development actually means that something is being stolen, with the blessing of the government, from the general citizen?

RJCostigan (2 hours, 44 minutes ago)

Lino why don't you collect some clay and make some.....

J.Bonnici (7 hours, 49 minutes ago)
This issue will continue to haunt the Nationalist Party for decades. It's immoral and should never have happened.
c. camilleri (8 hours, 41 minutes ago)
Oh please Lino stop this persecution of Dr. Scerri. There are so much more interesting things to do.
James A. Tyrrell (9 hours, 24 minutes ago)
I think the name that has to be remembered here is that of architect, Robert Musumeci. He is the person who drew up the plans for this structure. He is the person who somehow made the site in the plans appear to be level rather than the varying levels, which are in fact the reality at this site. He is the person who is supposed to be on site on a regular basis to monitor the build process yet he has no idea of the illegal activities taking place there. Of course he doesn't. I hope all environmentally aware people avoid this architect like a bad plague in future because by his own admission he doesn’t seem to know very much and appears to care even less.
Raymond Sammut (9 hours, 31 minutes ago)
The 70-page document "Managing Natura 2000 Sites" shows that this "reconstruction" of the farmhouse is contravening the relative directives. Once the area had been designated a Natura 2000 site, the old farmhouse had to be demolished and cleared, and not rebuilt on a concrete foundation embedded deep in the ground. Considering also the amount of public objection that has been expressed in the past, one has to draw attention to the following:

"Directive 92/43/EEC does not indicate when it is appropriate to obtain the opinion of the general public. However, consultation of the public is an essential feature of Directive 85/337/EEC. Clearly therefore, where the assessment required by Article 6(3) takes the form of an assessment under Directive 85/337/EEC, public consultation is necessary."

Is there a record of the assessment? Was the assessment carried out under Directive 85/337/EEC? If not, then why? And if yes, how much public consultation took place before this reconstruction went ahead?

This reconstruction of the old farmhouse in a Natura 2000 zone is clearly objectionable, and constitutes a gross encroachment upon the habitat. It should never have been allowed to go ahead and should be stopped.

D.MANGION (10 hours, 8 minutes ago)

Your efforts to try to justify the unjustifiable manages to beat even Radio 101 and Net TV put together.

Why should the Ramblers explain the developments of Bahrija and it's environs. That's Mepa's job. The same MEPA that your beloved "safe pair of hands" took under his reponsibility following a certificate of failure to Dr. George Pullicino.

If those pooled villas of Bahrija bother you, go and tell it to the person who took Mepa under his safe strong hands. But I'm sure you wouldn't. Your irrational fanatism would even glorify PN even if it ordered the execution of your own family. You would say that it is a necessary measure in order to prevent overpopulation.


J Farrugia (12 hours, 39 minutes ago)
jista Lino Bugeja u r-rablers tieghu jghidulna ta min hi dik il-korsa kbira li hemm fil-Bahrija korsa illegali u ghaliex tinsab hemm? JKistghu ir-ramblers jghidulna ta' min huma dawk il-villel kbar bil-gonna maghhom li hemm fil-Bahrija bis-swimming pools ecc u ghaliex inbnew hemm u lil Victor Scerri ma jriduhx jirranga l-post li kellu hemmhekk? Jeklk wiehed jidhol fil-Google earth malajr jara l-ipokresija tar-ramblers u tal-ambjentalisti u jara li haddiehor jista jibni u victor scerri naghmlulu hajtu nfern.

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