PD laments ‘bad planning’ in Ghar Gherduf development

Partit Demokratiku has echoed allegations made by Wirt Ghadex that authorities have 'turned a blind eye to the destruction' of Ghar Gherduf in Kercem, Gozo

PD claimed that the development, the construction of a two-storey terraced house, was threatening the existence of the Roman Catacombs
PD claimed that the development, the construction of a two-storey terraced house, was threatening the existence of the Roman Catacombs

Partit Demokratiku has extended support for conservation NGO Wirt Ghadex in calling on the Planning Authority and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage to stop the development in Ghar Gherduf, Kercem, Gozo.

PD echoed allegations made by Wirt Ghadex that the relevant authorities have“turned a blind eye to the destruction of this important site.”

“Why is the Planning Authority turning a blind eye on our historical heritage when they knew that Ghar Gherduf is a Grade A scheduled site of archaeological and historic importance?” PD questioned in a statement issued this morning.

Yesterday, the Planning Authority denied doing so, shifting the onus of responsibility for safeguarding archaeological sites to the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.

“The Planning Authority will continue to monitor and ensure that the planning permit conditions are being adhered to by the applicant while the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage will continue to assume its responsibility for archaeological monitoring,” the PA said yesterday.

PD claimed that the development, the construction of a two-storey terraced house for which works started over the last days, was threatening the existence of the only Roman Catacombs found in Gozo.

The Party called on the authority to issue an emergency conservation order in order to halt the development, questioning the reasons why the development was greenlighted, noting that concerns had been flagged earlier when the Superintendence had suggested that the area should be expropriated.

“Partit Demokratiku asks why was the permit was issued knowingly that such heritage existed in the first place? Secondly, why was it that only this specific permit was granted and two others refused?” PD asked.

PD said that it believed that in such cases, the relevant authorities should intervene to protect national heritage and ensure public access.

“We cannot keep losing important heritage sites and natural environment due to bad planning laws and lack of vision for our islands when it comes to long sustainable planning,” it said.

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