Mellieħa fireworks factory application rejected by planning board

A proposed fireworks factory in the vicinity of Popeye Village has been rejected once again 

The area of the proposed fireworks factory in Mellieħa, rejected by the Planning Commission
The area of the proposed fireworks factory in Mellieħa, rejected by the Planning Commission

The Planning Commission has once again refused an application for the construction of a fireworks factory in Tal-Għajn in Mellieħa.

The site is close to Popeye Village on land designated as an area of ecological value.

The proposed factory’s footprint is also adjacent to a popular walking route between Majjistral Park and Popeye village, passing features such as the well-preserved ruin Razzett tax-Xitan (The Devil’s Farmhouse), a Grade 1 protected site.

The application had already been refused in June 2011 but following an appeal the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) ordered the application to be reassessed according to new policies regulating fireworks factories approved in 2014.

But the application was later shot down by the Environment and Resources Authority and by a technical committee which assesses the technical aspects of similar applications.

Aerial view of the site marked in blue, where enthusiasts wanted to build a fireworks factory
Aerial view of the site marked in blue, where enthusiasts wanted to build a fireworks factory

The committee concluded the site area was too restricted in size to incorporate a complete fireworks factory.

Farmers interviewed by MaltaToday in August 2015 had objected to the application because  of the proximity of the proposed fireworks factory to their highly cultivated fields citing risks to their safety.

The development was proposed by the Marija Bambina Pyrotechnics Association which has lamented that Mellieħa is one of the few localities without such a facility and has to buy its fireworks from other towns and villages.

The association rebutted farmers’ objections arguing that farmers had reclaimed land near the proposed factory in the past few years.

An illegal explosives factory had previously operated in a farm building a stone throw away from the public road.

But an enforcement notice against the illegal use of the site as well as against seven illegal rooms built without a permit was issued in 2008.

 

More in Townscapes