Heritage Malta is concerned about the impact that a proposed solar farm will have on rainwater catchment in Mġarr, home to Ta' Ħaġrat temples.

On Tuesday Times of Malta published footage shot during September’s first showers, which reinforces concerns by Mġarr farmers and residents that development on virgin land will increase flooding at the UNESCO world heritage site.

According to farmers and residents, the construction of greenhouses and solar panels at Tar-Ragħad area will prevent large volumes of water from being absorbed by the soil, with the runoff water flowing down San Pietru street and ending up in Ta’ Ħaġrat temples on the other end of the village.

On Thursday, the national heritage agency said it was worried about the effects of the solar farm on rainwater catchment in the vicinity of the archaeological site.

In the meantime it is consulting the matter with the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.

Video: Karl Andrew Micallef

Heritage Malta noted that the flooding of the road leading to Ta' Ħaġrat is a direct consequence of the development that has taken place in Mġarr throughout the last 50 years.

It has tried to manage the flow of water within the site, while the Mġarr council also recently submitted an application to manage rainwater in the area.

The archaeological site forms part of a group of megalithic temples that are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It is one of the oldest free-standing monuments of its sort in the world, and home to two well-preserved structures.

Renowned for its monumental doorway and facade, the site was excavated between 1923 and 1926 with some other minor interventions in 1953 and in the 1960s.

The larger of the two buildings dates to the earliest phases of megalithic construction, known as the Ġgantija phase (3600 – 3200 BC).

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