EU to seek clarification on Ramla developments -
Sunday, July 1, 2007

The European Union decided to investigate the alleged breach of directive 85/337/EEC (EIA Directive) as amended, and Directive 92/43 EEC (Habitats Directive) in relation to two proposed developments at Ramla Bay, Gozo, Victor Galea, Alternattiva Demokratika secretary general and spokesman for Gozo, said.

He said the EU will seek clarification from Maltese authorities about the developments taking place at Ramla - the villas on the Xaghra side and the huge cemetery on the Nadur side.

Mr Galea said the European Commission informed it in writing that following the first preliminary assessment of the information provided by AD and other active citizens, it decided to investigate.

The AD Gozo Regional Committee wrote directly to the EU explaining, among other technicalities, that the licensed Ulysses Lodge commercial complex only occupies around 32 per cent of the 8,000 m2 granted in the permit to be developed as a tourist complex in Ramla Bay, Gozo.

The rest of the total 8,000 m2, 27 per cent is undeveloped land, 29 per cent consists of structures built without a permit, and the remaining 12 per cent consists of a villa and two rural dwellings. Thus 68 per cent of the site is not strictly part of the licensed commercial complex, and should not have been approved for redevelopment.

AD informed the EU that all local environmental organisations are not convinced that the authorities respected EU law when a permit was issued without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

AD also informed the EU Commission about the other decision by MEPA for a massive cemetery on the way to Ramla from the Nadur side. Again, the absence of an EIA is clearly in contrast with the Local Pan requirements affecting the Addolorata Cemetery.

While MEPA required an EIA for the extension of the Addolorata Cemetery, for some inexplicable reason it didn't for the pristine area of Ramla l-Hamra belvedere. Instead it accepted a hydrological study carried out by a geologist and not by a hydrologist.

Victor Galea said it was absolutely unacceptable that Ramla l-Hamra be given the green light for development by an authority that is supposed to protect national heritage.

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01 Jul 2007 by