Żurrieq residents propose rural conservation area in Nigret to stop development on farmland

The Għaqda Residenti taż-Żurrieq wants swathes of land in the Nigret area in their community to be declared rural conservation zones to prevent development taking place in the area

One of the rural areas in Nigret, Żurrieq, earmarked for development and which residents are opposing
One of the rural areas in Nigret, Żurrieq, earmarked for development and which residents are opposing

A Żurrieq residents’ group has written to district MPs asking for arable land in the Nigret area to be turned into a rural conservation area.

The Għaqda Residenti taż-Żurrieq said proposed developments on swathes of land in the Nigret area will increase traffic, multiply pressure on the infrastructure and destroy residents’ quality of life.

“Żurrieq cannot afford to lose any more farm land,” the group said in a statement.

The association was formed earlier this year after plans to rezone public land for development were made known.

“We appreciate the Prime Minister’s parliamentary speech in which he announced plans for public land to be turned into open spaces,” the group said, calling for such a commitment to be implemented in Żurrieq.

The association is calling for the revision of the 2006 Local Plan for the region, which it claims is outdated and cannot address the challenges faced 17 years later.

“Considering the government’s new direction, we believe that the land earmarked for construction through PC85/18 and PC49/19 should be spared from development and made available to the public as an open space. The area should become a rural conservation zone, which can serve as a space for residents’ recreation and an ecologically-safe space for farmers. We are proposing public walkways and picnic spots, the planting of indigenous flora, and a space for community activities according to the government’s guidelines on urban greening projects,” the organisation said.

It added that Nigret is the “last green lung” in Żurrieq and bears an ecological, recreative and also aesthetic value for the community.

“The development proposed in this area not only puts at risk the environmental ecosystem, but also the cultural and historical heritage of the area,” the group said.

The residents called on MPs elected in the Fifth District to look into their proposal, which they believe will have a “highly positive impact” on the quality of life of residents and visitors.

“It also gives us peace of mind from the excessive urban development on the islands, and promotes mental and physical health through outdoor activities,” the residents added.

READ ALSO: PA approves development on Nigret farmland