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Huge warehouse proposed to replace countryside illegalities

The Environment Resources Authority is objecting to the development of a huge warehouse in an ecologically sensitive area at the valley side of Wied il-Hanaq in Xewkija

james
James Debono
22 July 2016, 8:09am
Wied il-Hanaq, Xewkija
Wied il-Hanaq, Xewkija
The Environment Resources Authority is objecting to the development of a huge warehouse in an ecologically sensitive area at the valley side of Wied il-Hanaq in Xewkija, proposed by Rapa Construction Limited, a company owned by Teddy Rapa. 

The proposal is to develop over 3,230m2 of land with the proposed warehouse occupying 1,500m2 and an open yard with concrete surface occupying 1,730m2 of land.

The developer wants to demolish an illegally developed 1,405m2 building with an open yard built over 2,770m2. The concrete floored yard was also developed illegally but regularised in 2009. 

The area is proposed for scheduling as an area of ecological importance and the ERA is objecting to the development on the ground that industrial development is incompatible with the rural environment.

“Urban and industrial development should be restricted to areas where such land use has already been established,” it argued.

The area is proposed for scheduling as an area of ecological importance
The area is proposed for scheduling as an area of ecological importance
According to ERA the new building will result in the additional take-up of undeveloped land and the loss of the traditional physical characteristics. It also waned warns that the proposal could result in further pressures for similar development in the countryside, noting that development has already sprawled further than the area approved in 2009.

Although the proposal includes the removal of some of the illegalities on site, ERA contends that “illegal works carried out in the past should not serve as a precedent for the new development”. 

The Agricultural Advisory Committee is also objecting to the project, insisting that industrial development is incompatible with an agricultural area.

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...
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