Danish Village owners want solar farm on Mellieha land

Solar farm on degraded land will be visible from bypass and road to Anchor Bay, but not from Red Tower and promenade

Photomontage of solar farm as viewed from Triq il-Prajjiet (road linking Ghadira to Anchor Bay)
Photomontage of solar farm as viewed from Triq il-Prajjiet (road linking Ghadira to Anchor Bay)

The owners of the Danish Village complex in Mellieħa are proposing a 7,740sq.m solar farm on degraded land hosting invasive acacia trees, as well as an unused sewage treatment plant and stores.

Although degraded, the land in question is partly designated as a Special Area of Conservation. No agricultural land will be taken up by the proposed development.

Photomontages of the proposed development indicate that the solar farm will not be visible from the Għadira promenade and barely visible when seen from the Red Tower.  But the development will be more pronounced in the view from the Mellieħa to Għadira bypass and from the road linking Għadira and Popeye Village at Anchor Bay.

The Environment and Resources Authority described the proposal as one “in line with previous discussions” and concluded there are “no major environmental concerns” about the proposal.

It also noted that the proposal includes removal of invasive alien species on site. ERA has also concluded that the nature and scale of the proposal is unlikely to have a significant negative impact on the nature and integrity of the Natura 2000 site.

A masterplan for the area foresees the planting of indigenous trees on parts of the site.

The current policy regulating the sector precludes solar farms from being set up in the open countryside, Natura 2000 sites, on garigue, in valleys, ridge edges or areas of archaeological, cultural or scientific interest and considers disused quarries as the ‘preferred’ location for such development. The Planning Authority recently turned down a massive solar farm on 45,000 sq.m of agricultural land at Mġarr but has approved similar developments in quarries and in the former Bengħajsa landfill.