PA approves ODZ substation in Manikata

Case Officer had recommended refusal but Planning Commission has approved on basis of policy exempting projects of national interest from ODZ rules

The Planning Authority has approved the construction of a substation on garigue land in Manikata on the basis of a policy exemption for “projects  of national interest”.

The approval departs from the rural policy which regulates ODZ developments after Enemalta presented a justification for the development stating that the existing substation has reached its full capacity.

The site in question lies just outside the limits of development of Manikata along Trejqet il-Għabex, characterized by garigue vegetation and a mature almond tree next to a rural building and opposite a number of houses. A substation in the same area had been originally approved in 2005 but the development was never carried out and the permit expired. Subsequently, another application for the same purpose presented in 2011 was refused a year later.

The Environment and Resources Authority had asked Enemalta to move the proposed substation to avoid the uprooting of the almond tree, but according to Enemalta this was not possible due to ownership issues. The case officer is recommending a refusal of the application, in view of the take-up of rural land.