National Friday 27 April 2012 - 15:50
Ramblers applaud MEPA refusal of Portomaso extension
Ramblers Association of Malta ‘pleased’ that Portomaso Extension application was rejected by the MEPA board.
The Ramblers Association has welcomed the refusal by the MEPA board of an extension project at Portomaso, but qualified its statement by saying it was "not so pleased" that the board was divided on the issue.
"The decision should been crystal clear. The original permit for the Portomaso buildings stated that no further development could be carried out in this area. Apart from the other reasons militating against approval of this application, this condition alone should have been enough for this application to be thrown out, without MEPA wasting its time, and everyone else's, in considering and evaluating this spurious application," the Ramblers said.
"It is therefore surprising that half the MEPA board members actually voted in favour of this development. It seems that the recent cultural change in favour of more sustainable development has not permeated to all the board members. Those who voted 'yes' are apparently still in favour of the maxim: 'If there is an open space, let's build it'."
The Ramblers also noted that Labour's representative on the board Roderick Galdes was one of those who voted in favour of the project. "This causes us to question the PL's current policy on the environment, as this looks more favourable to unrestrained development. Unfortunately, the PN representative was absent for this crucial vote, so we cannot know how he would have voted."