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Fireworks sparking a complaint

A group of Mġarr residents are complaining about a proposed extension to a fireworks factory because they say an explosion would damage nearby historic temples, the village core and a cemetery.

I can’t imagine what would happen if an explosion of such magnitude was closer

In a letter to the Environment Planning Commission, the Association Of Ħaġrat Apartments residents said the site was in an agricultural area and an explosion “would damage any underground structure or artefacts”.

The extension application is for a workshop, a mixing room, an emergency passageway and the sanctioning of a changing room and cardboard store.

It is being recommended for approval by the planning authority’s case officer.

Residents Horace and Louise Gatt argue that an explosion could disturb the graves of loved ones and damage monuments and mausoleums at the cemetery, especially since public access to it was not included in the plans and fell within the 200 metre buffer zone.

Referring to an explosion in a nearby fireworks factory in Dwejra two years ago, Dr Gatt said: “I was at home when it exploded. The underground shock was so strong that fissures opened up in buildings adjoining Fisher road.”

In fact, his first impression was that the Mġarr factory had exploded.

“I can’t imagine what would happen if an explosion of such magnitude happened at a much closer proximity with a factory double in size,” he said.

He also pointed out that sanctioning illegal development, even if built before 2008, was “still morally reprehensible”.

Since January 1, it has become illegal to sanction illegal development in outside-development areas built after 2008.

Several people also formally objected to the development saying it was close to the village core, the primary school and the protected Ħaġrat temples.

The planning authority’s case officer recommended the project for approval and, in the report, said the explosives committee did not object.

In fact, the committee “noted with satisfaction” that the development would allow the applicant to operate his factory in a “much safer way” since the “manufacturing process will be separate from the storage area”.

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