The revoking of the Ramla l-Hamra development permit – AD

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RamlaCommenting on the decision taken by the MEPA board to revoke the permit granted for the Ulysses Lodge development, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party Chairperson Dr Harry Vassallo said that “AD can not but be satisfied by the fact that the Mepa Board has finally accepted what AD has been saying since June, i.e. that the process leading to the granting of the permit was shrouded in irregularity.”

“The way in which this case evolved is indeed farcical, the Mepa board first approves the development even though the same board had refused a similar permit on the same site in the early 90’s; even though the vast majority of the Maltese and Gozitan electorate were against it; even though it was clear that the permit shouldn’t have been granted. Then Mepa attempted to gain some semblance of respectability by wasting public funds to litter newspapers with its justifications, only to find out that it should have never granted the permit in the first place,” continued Dr Vassallo.

Dr Vassallo continued by saying that, “With a general election round the corner, one can’t but suspect that the main reason behind this u-turn is political expediency. After having soiled its environmental credentials throughout its term of office, the PN is trying to recoup some support from the environmentally sensitive members of the electorate through this political manoeuvre.”

“This case serves to highlight the deficiencies of the planning process in Malta. The Planning process is severely tainted with partisan politics and is used more as a means to gain electoral support rather than as a tool to achieve balanced development,” added Dr Vassallo.

“The electorate can put an end to this, and other similar charades by electing Alternattiva Demokratika to parliament”, added AD General Secretary and spokesperson for Gozo, Victor Galea.”We together with many NGOs and civil society have achieved a great success for Gozo and for the whole country. It is pertinent to note however that this decision was taken on the eve of an election. With Greens in parliament we will no longer speak and celebrate isolated successes but secure a reliable planning framework for the benefit of the environment and of all stakeholders,” continued Mr Galea.

“AD is committed to a thorough reform of Mepa and our participation in a coalition government will be contingent upon a commitment by our coalition partner to reform Mepa.” added Dr Vassallo.

Dr Vassallo continued by saying that, “AD’s policy on Mepa reform, includes amongst other things the elimination of all political intrusion in Mepa’s decision making process, by changing the way in which the board members are selected and by putting Mepa under the scrutiny of a permanent parliamentary committee.”

“Finally AD would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the NGOs and Local Councils, who opposed this project,” concluded Dr Vassallo.

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