Warehouse complex threatens Ħal-Farruġ ODZ

 

The residents of Ħal-Farruġ and eleven NGOs reiterate their objection to the demolition of an existing farm on ODZ to be replaced by a warehouse complex. Over 600 objections, including by the Saint Sebastian’s firework factory and the Luqa Local Council, have been made to the Planning Authority since the application was first filed in 2018. There are several reasons why the proposed development should be refused, which the Case Officer has also agreed with.

Firstly, the architect stated that the farm is not used anymore. This is misleading as animals are still being kept on site, running counter to the policy that stipulates that a farm must not have been used for 10 years before it can be demolished. Moreover, even if this were so, according to the Rural Policy and Design Guidance, a farm cannot be demolished and/or converted to any development of industrial use. Apart from this, part of the land is arable. The architect is proposing to get rid of this agricultural land and turn it into a storage area. Recently, the applicant applied for a change in the development purpose from Class 5A to Class 6A as Storage and Distribution, in which the Case Officer recommended refusal once again.

The application also runs counter to another policy in the RPDG which states that for such a development to take place, it must already be serviced by a road network. No such thing exists in Ħal-Farruġ, a quiet area where not even a grocery is allowed. A Traffic Impact Assessment has found this project to be unsustainable “due to the additional unplanned impacts it will have on already congested strategic roads in the area”. This is not to mention what a great disturbance such a massive development would be for the residents – an industrial development has absolutely no place in a residential area.

Another misleading piece of information in the application is the car park being proposed within an existing disused quarry. What the architect failed to mention was that most of the quarry had already been restored into arable land with several mature trees quite a few years ago. Should this development be allowed, all the trees will have to be uprooted, and coupled with the loss of arable land, there is no environmental benefit that can come out of the industrial project.

Furthermore, the site where the farm is located lies within a beautiful, unspoilt valley. A complex of warehouses would not only be an eyesore, but would actually destroy the landscaping of the surrounding area. No industrial project can complement the natural and quiet environment of the place, let alone one of this size.

The application is being recommended for refusal by the PA’s Case Officer. NGOs and residents support this refusal for the reasons mentioned above, and call on the Planning Board to heed the Case Officer’s advice.

ACT
BirdLife Malta
Din l-Art Ħelwa
Extinction Rebellion Malta
Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar
Friends of the Earth Malta
Moviment Graffitti
Nature Trust Malta
Ramblers’ Association of Malta
Rota
The Archaeological Society Malta

 

L-ODZ f’Ħal-Farruġ mhedded minn kumpless ta’ mħażen

Ir-residenti ta’ Ħal-Farruġ u ħdax-il għaqda itennu li qegħdin joġġezzjonaw għall-qerda ta’ razzett li jinsab f’art ODZ, biex minfloku jinbena kumpless ta’ mħażen. Iktar minn 600 oġġezzjoni, inkluż oġġezzjonijiet mill-kamra tan-nar ta’ San Bastjan u mill-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Ħal-Luqa ntbagħtu lill-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar minn meta kienet saret l-applikazzjoni fl-2018. Hemm diversi raġunijiet għalfejn l-iżvilupp propost għandu jiġi miċħud, li qabel magħhom ukoll il-Case Officer.

L-ewwel nett, il-perit qal li r-razzett m’għadux jintuża Dan mhux minnu għax fuq is-sit għadhom qed jinżammu l-annimali. Dan imur kontra l-policy li tistipula li razzett ma jridx ikun użat għal 10 snin qabel ikun jista’ jiġi meqrud. Barra minn hekk, anki kieku dan kien veru, skont ir-Rural Policy and Design Guidance, razzett ma jistax jinqered u/jew jiġi mibdul fi żvilupp għall-użu industrijali. Apparti dan, parti mill-art tista’ tinħadem. Il-perit qed jipproponi li tinqered din l-art agrikola u tiġi mibdula f’imħażen. Dan l-aħħar, l-applikant ippropona bidla fl-iskop tal-iżvilupp propost minn Klassi 5A għall-Klassi 6A li tinvolvi Ħażna u Distribuzzjoni, u l-Case Officer irrakkomanda li din għandha tkun miċħuda wkoll.

L-applikazzjoni tmur ukoll kontra policy oħra fl-RPDG li tgħid li biex isir żvilupp bħal dan, irid ikun hemm ġa triq eżistenti li twassal għalih. Din it-triq ma teżistix f’Ħal-Farruġ, żona kwieta fejn lanqas ħanut tal-merċa ma hu permess. Studju li sar biex ikejjel l-impatt tat-traffiku sab li dan il-proġett mhux sostenibbli minħabba l-impatti addizzjonali mhux pjanati li se jkollu fuq it-toroq prinċipali fiż-żona li diġa jgħaddi minnhom ħafna traffiku. Dan biex ma nsemmux l-impatt enormi li żvilupp ta’ dan il-kobor se jkollu fuq ir-residenti – żvilupp industrijali assolutament m’hemmx postu f’żona residenzjali.

Punt qarrieqi ieħor marbut ma’ din l-applikazzjoni huwa l-parkeġġ li qed jiġi propost fuq is-sit ta’ barriera li m’għadhiex tintuża. Li ma semmiex il-perit huwa li parti kbira minn din il-barriera kienet diġa ġiet mibdula f’raba’ li jista’ jinħadem u fejn ftit tas-snin ilu ġew ukoll miżrugħa numru ta’ siġar maturi. Jekk dan l-iżvilupp jitħalla jsir, dawn is-siġar se jkollhom jinqalgħu, u apparti t-telfa ta’ art għammiela, m’hemm l-ebda benefiċċju ambjentali li jista’ jkollu dan il-proġett industrijali.

Barra minn hekk, is-sit ta’ dan ir-razzett jinsab ġo wied sabieħ li għadu mhux mimsus. Kumpless ta’ mħażen mhux biss ikerraħ l-inħawi, imma jkun ukoll qiegħed jeqred il-pajsaġġ tal-madwar. L-ebda proġett industrijali ma jista’ jikkumplimenta l-ambjent kwiet u naturali ta’ dan il-post, aħseb u ara wieħed ta’ dan id-daqs.

Il-Case Officer tal-PA, qed jirrakkomanda li l-applikazzjoni tkun miċħuda. L-għaqdiet u r-residenti jaqblu ma din ir-rakkommandazzjoni għar-raġunijiet imsemmija hawn fuq u jsejħu lill-Bord tal-Ippjanar biex jagħti widen lill-parir tal-Case Officer.

ACT
BirdLife Malta
Din l-Art Ħelwa
Extinction Rebellion Malta
Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar
Friends of the Earth Malta
Moviment Graffitti
Nature Trust Malta
Ramblers’ Association of Malta
Rota
The Archaeological Society Malta