Environmental groups want public to object ‘Comino village’ development

As Hili Group plans to develop a 19-villa complex on Comino, environmental groups urge the public to object to the proposal

A render of how the Comino village complex is set to look once built
A render of how the Comino village complex is set to look once built

Environmental organisations in Malta are calling on the public to oppose plans for the development of 19 villas on the island of Comino.

The plans, submitted by Hili Group as part of their proposed Comino Hotel development, would see the replacement of nine derelict bungalows at Santa Marija Bay with a larger complex, complete with convenience store and amenities.

The Environment and Resources Authority approved the project, but organisations submitted an appeal against it with the planning tribunal.

In a statement, the organisations argued that the development would be incompatible with Comino's status as a Rural Conservation Area, Nature Reserve, Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area, Important Bird Area, Natura 2000 site, Bird Sanctuary, and Dark Sky Heritage site.

“The proposed development is not compatible with any of these designations and has been described as “monstrous” and an “occupation by stealth” of this island which should be held in trust for all Maltese and Gozitan residents to enjoy,” they said.

They added that the influx of heavy equipment, construction materials, and workforce would cause a significant environmental impact and destroy natural habitats, and also raise concerns about increased traffic in the area.

Waste handling in the area could also lead to an increase in vermin and litter, posing harm to Comino’s ecosystem.

The public has until January 23rd to submit objections to the development through the online form.

Organisations filing the objection include BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust Malta - FEE, and Ramblers’ Association of Malta.

READ ALSO‘Shameful’ Comino decision for Hili Group’s village, restaurant and retail outlet