Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Ramblers renew call for Bahrija works to be stopped

From The Times of Monday, 18th January 2010

The Ramblers' Association (RAM) has renewed its call for the Prime Minister and Mepa to stop the controversial works on Victor Scerri's property in Bahrija valley.

It said works were continuing despite evident harm to the valley.

The association recalled that four applications had been submitted for the development. All were recommended for refusal by the Planning Directorate but the refusals were overturned by the Development Control Commission and permits were issued for each one. However, after protests by ENGOs, the last permit was overturned by the MEPA board in August 2009.

"RAM still believes that all four permits should have been withdrawn, and not just the last one. In any case, RAM believes that the 2002 PA permit, issued in January 2003, is long past its five-year validity period, and had therefore expired long before the works started. Furthermore the 2004 application did not ask for an extension of the 2003 permit, but simply “to delete Condition 3 in order to confirm with condition 1 in PA 6321/02," the association said.

The association said it is calling on the Prime Minister, as the minister responsible for MEPA, to use whatever jurisdiction he has over MEPA to stop the works forthwith.

g.c.Forte (15 hours, 21 minutes ago)
@ Anthony Borg...I am not saying that RAM,or any other NGO`s protecting our environment are doing wrong, on the contrary, God bless them. What I mean is that the way we do our politics is rotten. If you think that the voter looks at these things during elections,forget it my friend, look at J.P.O.`s case.........after Mistra comedy he was elected strongly from two district, @ G. Debono.....Yes that is what I am saying. What did the labour did in Dr. Alfred Sant v.s. J.P.O,case ? Who supported him?, besides one labour journalist. I am old enough to tell you...Yes it is a matter of scratching the backs,because instead of Dr. Muscat goes every Sunday preaching at the L.P clubs, he should go to parliament and make a " strong and serious stand ", to stop this government ruining our land. I do believe that certain P.N. members in parliament are doing a better job than the opposition. Any way good luck ramblers and others........you need it.
S Zammit (1 day, 4 hours ago)
@MEPA isthu jekk tafu kif....SHAME that such rape of Bahrija valley goes unnoticed. Just to let you know that the MALTESE freshwater crab lives metres away from this development. It is endemic and endangered and certainly such development is not going to help it. Is this how we protect our biodiversity?by building a ''farmhouse'' just near its home? Well done ramblers and other NGO's for trying to protect our environment.
Saviour Grech (1 day, 4 hours ago)
Please please Mr Prime Minister do something will you?
Anthony Borg (1 day, 4 hours ago)
More than any other single factor, I think the (abuse) of the natural environment will be the defeat of the Nationalist Party at the next General Elections. I truly wish that in the next legislature, a third party would be represented in parliament, even if by 1 member! ..... Imagine that scenario at this point in time: this blatant arrogance would soon dispel.
J.Bonnici (1 day, 4 hours ago)
The prime minister said over and over again that the environment would be a priority. So how can he allow these things to happen?
G.Debono (1 day, 4 hours ago)
@G C Forte Not understanding you: Are you saying that labour is not doing nothing forceful on this because when in government that will do the same for their "blue" eyed boys and they expect the PN not to shout! foul - because it will be a case of you scratch my back, I scratch yours?
Joseph Calleja (1 day, 4 hours ago)
It seems like the more the NGOs call for a stop to this development the more the contractor adds on. I have one question. Is this work being done with a permit or is it being built illegally?. If this work is being built illegally, why don't the proper authorities stop the work immediately and let the court decide once and for all, otherwise this building will be finished before any decision is made.? Or is this one of those business as usual extensions?
m micallef (1 day, 4 hours ago)
MEPA reform or whitewash?
Anthony Borg (1 day, 5 hours ago)
@ g.c.Forte Mr. Forte, I strongly disagree with your comment “RAM..........I think that you are wasting your time”! Were it not for such dedicated organizations, much, much more destruction of the environment would go on shamelessly. Ramblers Association and Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar are the people's’ voice confronting an arrogant government. “These things should be remembered at election time and opposition must air its views” – yes Mr Saviour Cordina, I wholeheartedly concur. No amount of “icing on the cake” as general elections approach would change my mind on this issue, and I would make sure to influence as many “floating voters” as possible. And let the party in Opposition take heed too... in my view, it has become too complacent!
Muscat Pat (1 day, 5 hours ago)
"U l-ambjent jibda ihaddar" We will always remember how that lovely child was photo montaged, with a flower in her mouth. Hypocites!
lesley kreupl (1 day, 5 hours ago)
Surely it is obvious to everyone that any permits issued for this building must have been 'irregular', or to be more polite, 'issued by mistake'! The incumbent Government and especially MEPA, should admit to irregularities and force work to stop on this site immediately. That this area is ODZ should have been obvious to both the owner at the time of purchase and the architect before drawing up plans. I assume neither party is illiterate.
Henry J Bonett (1 day, 5 hours ago)
The picture blatantly exposes the horrific rape that is going on in Bahrija. This is not the restoration of an old farmhouse, but looks more like a filmset for Ben Hur by comparison. It must now be clear to the Prime Minister, at least now, that this is a veritable politically linked outrage. Mepa reform should start from here, if it is to be credible at all. It should not only be stopped but whoever was responsible and found to have abused of his power should be made accountable. No less. Let us at least start from this ugly case and keep going on the good road forward. I expect the opposition party to have a strong say on this as well, if we are to keep trusting our parliament at all.
J. Borg (1 day, 5 hours ago)
MEPA Reform...?

Pull the other one dear Dr. Gonzi!
savior cordina (1 day, 6 hours ago)
These things should be remembered at election time and opposition must air its views.
g.c.Forte (1 day, 7 hours ago)
@ H.Dempster.......If the opposition wants to stop this project and others that seems irregular, can go to parliament and after a serious debate, can take action, if results that the matters are incorrect. It seems that the government is ignoring the opposition, and members from the same government are opposing their own side and doing what the opposition should do. Never forget the Maltese saying " Hokkli dahri halli inhokk tghijak" You scratch my back and I scratch yours........that is what is happening between the two parties. @ RAM..........I think that you are wasting your time.
Raymond Sammut (1 day, 7 hours ago)
Dr Joseph Muscat has got to make his position clear. He has a lot to clean up, both in the Labour camp and in the PN camp. Malta and decent Maltese citizens have had more than enough. The sort of revulsion shown in this picture cannot continue on with impunity, and must be reversed.
Joseph Grech (1 day, 7 hours ago)
I appeal to the Hon. Prime Minister to stop these works. He should know that there previously was an unused, broken farmhouse building on the spot. The Hon. P.M., indeed anyone, can see from the picture this is NO FARMHOUSE but an unbridled speculative ''development'' by somebody with strong political links who should not even have applied to build there in the first place. The P.M. should STOP this outrage - he surely cannot say that he cannot interfere in MEPA's work when it is so obvious that the DCC and MEPA's Enforcement should not have allowed this work to proceed. MEPA Reform starts with this issue! People will judge the P.M.'s resolve to clean up the MEPA act by what he does to prevent this ongoing rape ofBahrija. That goes also for Joseph Muscat the leader of the Opposition.
J. Aquilina (1 day, 7 hours ago)
Kaz mill-iktar car li jindika li r-riforma tal-MEPA mhux ser tfisser xejn!!!! Isthu jekk tafu kif.
jimi Xerri (1 day, 7 hours ago)
@H Dempster

The opposition would have lots of demolishing to do, considering what went on during their hey days!!!
H Dempster (1 day, 8 hours ago)
It is high time that the opposition should clearly state that if they would return to power in the next election , is it their intention to knock down all buildings which have been built outside the building zone like the bahrija works and others, or are they going to let things lie.

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