BirdLife, NGOs crowdfunding €2,000 to oppose Dwejra lights decision

BirdLife hoping to raise €2,000 to file appeal to decision allowing new lighting and al fresco dining at Dwejra restaurant

BirdLife Malta and 15 other NGOs have launched a crowdfunding initiative to file an appeal against a decision by the Planning Authority allowing a Dwejra restaurant to install lights, tables and chairs on its terrace.

The NGOs fear that the controversial decision will affect bird populations in Dwejra, a Natura 2000 site and Dark Sky Heritage Area as well as a designated Special Protection Area under the Wild Birds Directive. 

The installation of a timber canopy was also included in the development permit.

In November 2017, the Planning Authority had turned down a permit stating that it would have an adverse impact on an important area. 

The PA also said the development would conflict with one of the Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED) objectives, to safeguard and enhance biodiversity, cultural heritage, geology and geomorphology. 

On Friday, the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) decided to overturn the Planning Authority’s refusal for further development at this site, stating that the use of artificial light would be scrutinized by the authorities due to conditions imposed in a previous permit issued in 2010. 

The tribunal also stated that the canopy would have no ecological effect.

BirdLife is now trying to raise €2,000 to file a court appeal against the EPRT decision.

The NGO said details on how to donate were available on BirdLife Malta’s Facebook page.  

15 organisations are supporting the initiative including BirdLife Malta, Bicycle Advocacy Group, Din l-Art Helwa, Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Isles of the Left, Light Pollution Awareness Group, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust, Ramblers Malta, Archaeological Society of Malta, The Astronomical Society of Malta, Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy at the University of Malta, Wirt Ghawdex and Voice of the Left.  

READ ALSO: ‘Lights out for Dwejra stars’, objectors fume at restaurant’s al fresco permit from PA

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