Sociologist from Malta

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Save Ta' Cenc

Dear Friends,

I urge you to sign this petition organised by environmental NGO Din l-Art Helwa to help save one of the few remaining open spaces of ecological importance in Malta. Kindly forward the appeal below to your friends.


There is an application before the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) which proposes to develop a large area of unspoilt land at Ta' Cenc in Gozo - one of the few remaining tracts of open countryside left in the Maltese Islands.

Ta' Cenc lies outside the development zone established by the Structure Plan of 1992, which outlines the parameters for sustainable development.

We urge you to support our campaign against this proposed development.

Go to to sign our petition.

1 comment:

Michael Briguglio said...

Ta' Cenc proposals NGOs welcome government's stand

Concerns remain over other issues

Mark Micallef - The Times

Environmental NGOs have welcomed the news that some 57 bungalows planned for construction at Ta Cenc will not be allowed.

On Saturday The Times reported that Environment Minister George Pullicino had written to Mepa saying that the recently approved local plans should not be interpreted "in any way" as allowing new development in the area of Ta' Cenc overlooking Mgarr ix-Xini.

In essence this wipes out some 57 bungalows that hotelier Victor Borg was planning to build in the area.

Din l-Art Helwa, which in recent weeks was at the forefront of a controversy over the interpretation of the local plan, applauded the minister's move which, it pointed out, removed any doubt that there may be in the interpretation.

The heritage trust also welcomed comments given to this newspaper by Mepa's chairman Andrew Calleja in which he said that the authority's board had collectively agreed to this policy.

However, "some issues of the proposed Ta' Cenc development remain," Din l-Art Helwa pointed out, as did other NGOs.

Victor Galea, spokesman for Alternattiva Demokratika's Gozo regional committee said the minister had finally heeded the people's call to recognise the conditions set out in the Structure Plan.

"Could the Minister now finally fulfil his remit and stop once and for all the other proposed developments at Ta' Cenc?" asked Mr Galea.

"The new three-storey hotel and the 49 bungalows which are too close to the ridge overlooking Xewkija are equally contrary to the specifications of the two plans."

BirdLife President Joseph Mangion said the move was definitively a positive turn.

"Such a clear declaration by the government on what is allowed and not allowed there is definitely positive. We remain concerned about the effect one of the proposed hotels could have on the bird population."

He said the NGO would like to see a detailed inventory of the wildlife in the area. "Unfortunately, perhaps because of time constraints or financial constraints, the environment impact assessment carried out is a walk-through survey in this respect."

The Coalition of Environmental NGOs also welcomed the move with reservations on Saturday, saying it was a step in the right direction but that it was not enough.

Analise Falzon from Nature Trust said any reduction in development was a positive thing. "We need to have a stand on any idea of a golf course being built in the area, however," she said in reference to the proposal to have one in the area. The golf course does not form part of the present application but has been mentioned as a possibility.

Besides the 57 bungalows, the pending application proposes the development of a new five-storey hotel, an extension of the existing hotel, another 49 bungalows along the ridge overlooking Xewkija and a heritage park.

Recently, the authority announced that the period for objections would be reopened, following a recommendation by the authority's audit officer in reply to a complaint filed by Din l-Art Helwa.

The heritage trust had contended that the authority should have requested a fresh application once the original one, submitted in 1996, had been amended. The audit officer was of the same opinion and advised Mepa's chairman accordingly.

Attempts to contact Mr Borg were unsuccessful.