Four pending applications for firework factories

New regulations to apply to four pending applications for firework factories, Prime Minister says.

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) new policy on firework factories will be applied to the four pending applications, as long as the decision is taken once the new policy is adopted.

Replying to a Parliamentary question by Opposition MP Censu Galea, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat explained that at the moment there are four applications, including an application for a new factory in Siggiewi.

The other pending applications  include the extension of an existing factory in Gharghur, the construction of three rooms within an existing factory in Ghaxaq and alterations to a factory in Zebbug.

Last month, the new policy for new fireworks factory complexes and for the upgrading of existing facilities was launched for public consultation.

Over the past years MEPA has refused a number of outside-development zone (ODZ) firework factory applications in Mellieha, Rabat and Gozo. Under the new policy, new factories will be developed in outside development zones. A committee will be set up to vet applications before these are considered before the MEPA board.

The policy stipulates those areas in which fireworks factory complexes cannot be developed and areas which would be considered as "candidate sites" for environmental protection.

MEPA's two internal heritage watchdogs have registered their objections to the extension of the Wied id-Dis fireworks factory in Gharghur and to the factory in Ghaxaq.

While the application for the Ghaxaq factory is currently suspended since the authority has yet to receive the architect's submissions, the application for the Gharghur factory extension is pending assessment.