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Yellow shows the Għarb development zone plan. The proposed new road site is in red.

Proposed road in Għarb ODZ is ‘unnecessary’ – Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex

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NGO urges public to file objections with Planning Authority

Plans to build a road on Outside Development Zone land in Għarb are unnecessary and should be opposed, a Gozo-focused NGO has said. 

Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex (DLĦGħ) has urged the public, non-governmental organisations and the Għarb local council to file objections to the plans, which would see a road take up 5,387 square metres of ODZ land in the Gozitan village. 

The application proposes a new street serving as an alternate access to Triq Birbuba, critically changing the zoning of the land to residential development, DLĦGħ said.

It said it was “adamantly opposed” to the application which had to be refused on the basis of:

  • The site is situated within ODZ and is being used for agricultural purposes.
  • Għarb already has clearly identified residential areas within the local plan in development zones and no consideration should be given to releasing further ODZ land.
  • There is no evidence whatsoever that the land is required to support current or foreseeable future housing needs.

DLĦGħ said “a clear message” had to be sent to the authorities that Gozitans and Maltese are “sick and tired” of destructive planning applications that are destroying the natural beauty of Gozo and its unique quality of life.

Representations against the application can be filed with the Planning Authority until October 27.

It said that for Gozo to be protected and given some breathing space until planning policies are reviewed and strengthened, there should be:

  1. A 12-month suspension of DC15 Annex 2 to all new developments in Gozo;
  2. A 12-month moratorium on all outside development zone applications; and
  3. A 12-month extension of the urban conservation area by 250 metres.