PRESS STATEMENT - AD Gozo Regional Committe - 05.06.2007

Red Alert at Ramla l-Hamra - AD
Source:AD Gozo Regional Committee On:Tue 05/06/2007 09:00

"Gozo's most picturesque bay, ir-Ramla l-Hamra, which besides its geomorphologic features also harbours Roman archaeological remains and is home to endangered fauna, flora and sand dunes, is under threat from a proposed development which will ruin what is left of the unique character of this bay and the surrounding Gozo skyline," said Dr Harry Vassallo, Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party.

The Gozo Regional Committee of Alternattiva Demokratika is once again voicing its concern and forcefully objecting to the proposed development PA 07947/05. Back in February last year, AD Gozo Regional Committee had objected to MEPA and gladly notifies that this year the Xaghra Local Council is unanimously objecting to the construction of 35 villas plus a commercial tourist center in the Calypso Cave area at Ramla Bay in Gozo.

“It is very unfortunate that MEPA decided to do the consultation hearing at the MEPA boardroom, St Francis Ravelin, Floriana on Wednesday 6th June at 11.00hrs. MEPA informed us as registered objectors, that seats can be reserved on request for the applicant and registered objectors. Doors will be closed once any remaining seating is filled on a first come first serve basis. This is an insult to many of the Xaghra residents and concerned Gozitans who have to cross over the channel, to find out that this meeting is subject to the maximum seating capacity” said Victor Galea , AD general secretary and spokesperson for Gozo.

Mr Galea said “The proposed development violates Policy RCO 4 and Policies Ben1 and Ben2 because it adversely affects the scenic value of the area, since it visually dominates and disrupts its surroundings due to its mass and location and also affects existing trees and shrubs. Moreover, this proposed construction would quite probably breach Environment legislation, particularly the Habitats directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. This area is in an Outside Development Zone and has managed to have waived an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).”

“Ramla l-Hamra is also unique in that it is free of light pollution and is therefore an ideal place for astronomical observations especially during the summer months. AD-Gozo is also asking MEPA to take into consideration other policies when processing application PA 07947/05, namely Ben 7, Ben 10, AHF 4, AHF 7, RCO 29 and RCO 32.”

“Gozitans hope that MEPA will abide by its policies and guidelines and conserve this unique bay which is as vital not only as a tourist attraction but also as a place where locals can relax their mind, body and spirit. If MEPA acts otherwise, the right time will come when citizens will endorse AD’s commitment to reform MEPA once elected in parliament” concluded Mr Galea.

Victor Fiorini

PRO - Alternattiva Demokratika

The Green Party

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12 Jun 2007 by