NGOs call on Mepa to refuse new Hondoq application
A number of environmental non-governmental organisations are calling on the planning authority to refuse an application by the Qala Creek developers for a swimming lagoon.
In a statement this evening, Moviment Harsien Hondoq, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Ramblers Association, FOE Malta, Nature Trust, GUG, Din l-art Helwa and Wirt Ghawdex said that in the face of an overwhelming outcry against the proposed Hondoq project to develop a large hotel and hundreds of real estate units around a yacht marina, the developers of Qala Creek have decided to drop the idea of the marina at Hondoq Bay, limiting themselves to a 'swimming lagoon'.
However, in the 2009 EIS coordinated report the developers themselves stated "the project would struggle if it had to be developed as a stand-alone hotel".
They said that to be successful the hotel needed to be part of an integrated project with features that differentiated it from other hotels.
When discussing revenue projections, the 2007 version of the report stated: "The hotel on its own is not commercially viable. It can only succeed and be sustainable if it forms part of a much larger complex which will attract interest by potential patrons to reside at the hotel. The marina development could act as such an attraction."
In the 2009 version this was modified to: "The hotel will be successful and sustainable if it forms part of a much larger complex which will attract interest by potential patrons to reside at the hotel. The marina development could act as such an attraction."
The NGOs said they, therefore, failed to understand how the developers could now eliminate the marina and claim that the complex would remain financially viable, as required by the Environment Impact Assessment.
"This eleventh-hour submission of new plans shows that the developers are intent on pushing through this venture in complete disregard of the social and environmental impacts of the project, ignoring the fact that the local community and also general public opinion has expressed itself against the project.
"The environmental NGOs therefore urge MEPA to refuse such a project and to revert the land to its original designation as a nature park.
"The Qala Local Council has already looked into the various aspects of creating an environment and heritage park, a project that would draw much-needed tourists to Gozo, and support existing hotels and catering establishments."
A petition on the project can be found at: