Residents of the Mosta Wied il-Għasel area this afternoon said they were shocked with the Environment and Planning Authority’s development approval of 24 apartments and 26 garages in a plot that lies on one side of Wied il-Ghasel, Mosta.
They said that when the application was submitted in 2005, the development site notice, which should have been fixed to the wall for a number of days, was immediately removed without them noticing.
24 residents took an oath and presented affidavits in this regard to MEPA about two weeks ago. They said they only got to know about the impending development on February 22, when the developer’s architects visited their homes to notify them about the works that were about to begin. The residents asked for the withdrawal of the permit due to their being denied the right of objection.
“Since neither MEPA nor the applicant saw to the re-affixation of the notice, and whether the case of intentional removal in view of deceit, an act constituting fraud, or accidental removal due to inclement weather and sundry, the fact remains that the notice was never in the place for the period of time it should have been and as requested by law,” they said.
They added that they should not be the ones to suffer the consequences of the development, which would be detrimental to the whole area.
The residents said that the ridge was an integral part of the valley, making it a protected nature reserve.
“Given its ecological designation, this beautiful landscape, the last green lung in the heart of town, with its rich ecological and rural heritage, should be preserved untouched and virgin for the benefit of the people not only of Mosta but of all Malta,” they insisted.
The residents are backed by the Harsien Patrimonju Mosti, the Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar and Nature Trust.
The Harsien Patrimonju Mosti said that Wied il-Ghasel was listed as a nture reserve within the World Database on Protected Areas, managed by the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
It is classified as a Category III natural monument: protected area managed mainly for conservation of specific natural features.
It said that in view of the imminent destruction of the last standing Girna in the very heart of any Maltese town, as well as fields with historic rubble walls forming an integral part of a protected area, Mepa should intervene by means of an Emergency Conservation Order and prevent several rural assets from being destroyed.
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