PA's decision to turn down Mosta development application applauded
Such applications should be accompanied by environmental measures - AD
Updated at 3pm with FAA statement
The Planning Authority's decision to turn down an application for intensive development of land in Mosta's periphery is an indication that "hopefully, common sense is not completely absent", Alternattiva Demokratika said.
The PA's executive committee refused an application to develop a 38,600 metre square stretch of land in the vicinity of Cumbo Tower in Mosta.
It is essential, that before this application is further considered or reconsidered, as will inevitably happen, that the social, economic and the environmental impacts of this proposed massive development is adequately considered, AD deputy chairman Carmel Cacopardo said.
AD said this is the result of the incorrect decision taken by Parliament back
in 2006 as a result of which around two million square metres of land on the periphery of our towns and villages were given up for development.
In future, applications similar to the one under consideration should be accompanied by innovative measures of environmental protection, Mr Cacopardo said.
Decision also welcomed by FAA
The decision was also welcomed by environmental NGOs Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar.
It said in a statement that together with the Ramblers Association and Friends of the Earth, it had been challenging the rationalisation scheme in court since 2007 in the interests of residents’ quality of life and environment.
The organisation said that while it acknowledged that legal commitments had been entered into, this government was still in time to mitigate the damage by avoiding intense over-development of sites as was proposed in Mosta and many other areas in Malta and Gozo.
It recalled that in his role as leader of the Opposition, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had been vehemently opposed to the rationalisation plans.
"He is now in a position to ensure that the actual development of the already-committed sites is carried out in such a way to cause least damage by leaving open recreational green areas, which are essential to residents’ mental and physical health and well-being.
"The Government can also demonstrate far-sightedness by introducing the requirement that development of these sites be carbon-neutral ahead of the stipulated time," it said.