From the Sunday Times
Sunday, 13th June 2010
Marina would ruin Ħondoq's unspoilt shoreline - Wirt Għawdex
Gozitan heritage NGO Wirt Għawdex has come out strongly against the proposed project to build a yacht marina, villas and apartments at Ħondoq ir-Rummien, Qala, and has submitted its objections to the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (Mepa).
The society said marinas typically tend to pollute the surrounding waters and its biggest concern was that a marina would ruin Ħondoq's "unique shoreline and unspoilt area". It also questioned the need for another marina close the recently privatised one at Mġarr, which was planning to expand.
While it agreed the disturbed land of the disused quarry needed to be rehabilitated, Wirt Ghawdex said it had "grave reservations" about the project.
The NGO said building another massive complex of apartments and villas would not benefit Gozo which it said "already has too many empty dwellings".
The society said air pollution during construction would be very detrimental to residents and the environment in Qala, and while it would create some temporary employment, there was a high risk the project would not be sustainable.
Wirt Għawdex said that when judging the project Mepa was obliged to see whether it addressed the need to balance Gozo's need for prosperity with the need to protect the island's unique environment.
Contrary to the developer's Environment Impact Assessment, the NGO's opinion was that the project would have a significant negative impact on the island's environment and was not the type of development appropriate, sustainable or in line with eco-Gozo.