Żurrieq residents have sounded the alarm on a planning application that seeks to rezone a sizable stretch of arable land so that it can eventually be developed into apartments.

The application, PC/68/22, filed by Tal-Karmnu Construction, seeks to establish new building parameters for a stretch of land measuring 11,500 square metres located between Triq I-Kanonku Vincenz Balzan, Triq Napuljun and Triq I-Imqabba in Żurrieq.

The land in question was placed inside the development zone in the 2006 so-called rationalisation exercise.

The planning control application is proposing to allow for the construction of a new road that would connect Triq I-Kanonku Vincenz Balzan with Triq l-Imqabba. It also seeks to zone the area for residential development with a height limitation of three floors and a semi-basement.

A spokesperson for Għaqda Residenti taż-Żurrieq told Times of Malta that it is working on submitting a formal objection to the application, saying that the west of Malta is quickly becoming a “wild west for developers” due to the “atrocious” projects” that are popping up across the various towns in the region.

The solution to this persistent issue, they said, is for the government to reverse the 2006 rationalisation exercise.

“We believe that the government should intervene to change the local plans as it has done in Ħondoq and Marsaskala, instead of favouring long-term land speculation which will take away further agricultural land and flies in the face of promises for more open spaces,” they said.

“We are willing to join forces with the local council because our group’s aim is to safeguard the well-being of Żurrieq and of its residents. We therefore look forward to the council’s position against the proposed rezoning in Tal-Bebbux.”

A similar application seeking to rezone a plot of land in Nigret had also raised considerable objections from Żurrieq residents, who campaigned for the PA to deny permissions to a rezoning application seeking to widen roads and establish parameters to construct terraced housing on the land.

Despite their efforts, pleas to spare the rural land from being developed appeared to fall on deaf ears as the Planning Authority approved the permit in June 2023.

The residents group has filed an appeal against the Nigret decision seeking to overturn the permit.

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