Ramla l-Hamra permit (letters) - http://www.timesofmalta.com/
Sylvana DeBono, public relations officer, Mepa, Floriana.
Saturday, June 16, 2007

The following statements have been made in public and are being propagated as truth. Mepa would like to comment on the following statements:

Statement 1: The proposed footprint is twice as large as the existing footprint.

Not true. The development will only take up the part of the site which has been disturbed by human intervention with the exception of some swimming pools. This amounts to about 8,000 square metres from a total of 40,000 square metres. The terraced fields and unspoilt land will not be touched. Ramla Bay is not affected by this development and neither are the remains in the bay or the ecological zoning.

Statement 2: The Structure Plan and Local Plan policies do not allow such development Outside Development Zone.

Not so. The Structure Plan is specific in permitting the Authority to consider applications outside the development zone. This falls under the section Non Urban Areas. The outline permit was issued before the Gozo and Comino Local Plan was approved and so prevails over the Local Plan.

Statement 3: No consultation.

Not so. Both Outline and Full development applications had their periods of statutory public consultation as according to the Development Planning Act, duly announced on the papers.

Statement 4: Environment Impact Assessment was not carried out. Not required. The studies submitted in the project description statement were very detailed and deemed sufficient for the waiving of the EIA.

Statement 5: Archaeological study was not carried out.

Not true. The archaeologists specifically state in the submitted report that the archaeological studies were based on "extensive field surveys and archival research" and "found no archaeological features in the area to be developed close to Calypso Cave".

Statement 6: In the process of the Outline Development Application there were irregularities.

If this is so, Article 39A of the Development Planning Act may be invoked by anyone who can prove this case.

Statement 7: Mepa has restricted access to documents.

No. Access to these documents, in line with Mepa's obligations to Environmental Information, has been available since 2005. Journalists have already had the opportunity to view these documents and they are still available for public scrutiny
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16 Jun 2007 by Saveramla.com