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Pig farm in livestock enclave

Reference is made to the article entitled Permit For Pig Farm 20 Metres From Residences (April 11) whereby readers were given the impression that this outline permit was granted in a residential area. We would like to clarify that this rural area in Magħtab is predominantly devoted to farms. The permitted development will be close to another 10 operational farms, as the attached map clearly indicates.

Acknowledging that mistakes have been made in the past, the Prime Minister in his speech to Mepa employees earlier this week, also made reference to the fact that the public must understand the difficult role that the Authority faces in finding a "delicate" balance between development and its negative impact. While the Authority understands that such a development may be an inconvenience to the three families living in close proximity, its decision strictly adheres to the policies and regulations of this area.

In this island, which is one of the most densely populated places in the world, we do not have the luxury to eliminate every inconvenience that a particular development may cause, so decision-making needs to adhere to codes of law and established guidelines. The point raised that any livestock farming must be at least 183 metres away applies only in cases where the inhabited or residential area is within scheme or the area adjacent to the application is inhabited by more than 100 persons. In this planning application the development is in an ODZ area, which probably accommodates Malta's largest enclave of livestock farms. So things need to be kept in perspective.

"So if you set your sights on a quaint little house in the countryside, in an area that is predominately shaped with operational farms, you should perhaps picture how it might look with an additional permitted farm standing right next to it before you go ahead and buy it." Why not?

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