Hondoq ir-Rummien belongs to the people not to developers

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Readers Letter – “Decisions are being made at the moment regarding the future of the Hondoq project application and I feel it’s important that this issue is kept in the public eye in order to ensure that things don’t happen behind the backs of the people as they have done in the past. I’m referring of course to events which occurred back in 2002.

“At this time the entire area which the developers have earmarked for the marina project belonged to the Government. It had been expropriated along with the reverse osmosis plant and the land it stands on.

“Then for some reason the land in question was returned to the owner by President Guido de Marco. Shortly after it was returned MEPA received an application to build a yacht marina, hotel and 283 villas, flats and bungalows. Coincidence? Personally I don’t believe in coincidences and that suspicion is given weight by the fact that this area which up until this point had been Outside Development Zone (ODZ) was suddenly changed to a tourist and marine related activities area.

“It should also be remembered that not all the land was returned as the reverse osmosis plant and the land it stands on still belongs to the Government. Is this why the developers earmarked this area for a car park, in case there was some problem with it being turned over and so as not to hold up the main project?

“At the time this application was sent to MEPA the local Qala Council had already applied to turn the area into a National park so MEPA were well aware that the local Council had plans for the area. We also need to remember that the results of a referendum carried out in 2002 were that 85% of people were against the marina project.

“We now need to look at December 2009 when Qala Local Council, Moviment Harsien Hondoq (MHH) and Flimkien ghal Ambjent (FAA) organised a competition for University student architects to show what they would do to the area.

“They decided that the old reverse osmosis plant should be turned into a youth hostel and submitted plans for the rest of the area which were absolutely stunning. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L_aXqa5eJU&feature=related

“We now come to the present where we recently learned that the MEPA Environment Protection Directorate (EPD) had recommended refusal of the Hondoq project application, a decision that was welcomed by all concerned parties. In order to counter this objection the developers submitted a fresh application leaving out the marina and substituting it with a ‘swimming lagoon.’ A swimming lagoon by the way in case you are wondering is a marina before the boats are allowed in! We have to remember here that the developers themselves stated that the whole project would either stand or fall on the marina being part of it, so what has changed?

“Now as someone familiar with the area I can’t imagine what it would be like with an extra 2000 vehicles a day trying to get through the village. That is the estimated number which would be generated once this development was finished. In case you are wondering that’s an extra 83 vehicles per hour every hour of every day on top of the present traffic.

“We also have to consider the up to two years of heavy vehicle traffic during the construction phase bringing with it high dust and vehicle fume levels.

“With regard to the so called impartial Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA ) it turned out to read like an advert for the areas development! Hondoq ir-Rummien belongs to the people of Qala in particular, the people of Malta in general and to all the tourists who flock there every year to enjoy it’s beautiful waters.

“It does not belong to money grabbing developers whose only interest is in lining their pockets. To that end the people have a choice, they can fight for what they know is right, or they can roll over and show their belly. The choice is now over to them.”

James A. Tyrrell,

N. Ireland.

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    30 Responses

    1. gerald Cassar says:

      Mr Tyrrell you should be given a recognition for your ongoing interest to save Hondoq Perhaps you should contact the Ngo Moviment Harsien Hondoq because they have been looking after this area from the start .

      I also noticed that the elections are close so don`t expect any controversial decisions

    2. Mark says:

      This looks like a summery of what has been happening at Hondoq

      I have been following this speculative application from day one and I am sick to hear that Mepa has not yet closed the doors for this .

      Let`s hope that next Tuesday Mepa will do the right thing and refuse this application

    3. Frans Said says:

      If MEPA really mean business they should refuse this application.

      All they got to do is simple,Go and watch all those people during summer to see what they will be responsible for, if this nonsense is approved .

      MEPA please leave us HONDOQ R RUMMIEN for all of our families for future generations

    4. Mr Brightside says:

      Please refuse this application….as suggested this should be a protected area. As for a marina this area is currently an important training area for divers.
      Don’t the government realise that what makes Gozo attractice to tourists is its lack of development when compared to Malta?
      I am a new resident in Gharb but I love this island ….

    5. lesley kreupl says:

      If MEPA approves of this application then there is really no hope left for the island as the develpment of Ramla will be next in line for approval.
      This will be followed by the stretch between Mgarr and Hondoq and so it will go on until the whole coastline is smothered in concrete.
      So much for ECO-GOZO!

      PLEASE STOP THE RAPE OF HONDOQ ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!!!!!

    6. cikku l-poplu says:

      If common sense prevails this case should have been scrapped long time ago .

      Mepa should throw away this application and approve the area as a national park

    7. Paul Muscat says:

      What a lovely Bay it must stay there the way it looks I hope that every thing will go OK for the next appall .

    8. mario Pace says:

      Fingers crossed for tomorrow .Hope the common sense prevails and MEPA will give us hope that Hondoq will not be under the axe any more .

      A big thanks to all those involved in saving Hondoq especially to Paul Buttigieg from Qala Local council

    9. Carmen Camilleri says:

      Good luck go to the executive Paul Buttigieg from Qala local Council and to most of the Qala people that love and care for this pretty Beach .

    10. albert m says:

      Agree with you 100% Mr Tyrrell .I go that place very frequently and what you said is all the truth

    11. EMMANUEL MAGRO says:

      The people of Qala always loved Hondoq ir-Rummien,but they never taught about getting Qala on the map and also let other Maltese enjoy it as well,but if was not for the Maltese,publicity it on the newspapers and get other people know about it then the beautifull Hondoq ir-Rummien was discovered, it would be still full of
      jelly fish.!!!!

    12. Malcolm x says:

      Hondoq Bay is the best bay that I found for swimming .Keep on doing your best to be left for all of us

    13. joe cutajar ny says:

      Hondoq is the best beach ever .Hondoq Hondoq what a gem !!!!!!!!! .So sad that they dont even know it ,and what a shame that they want to destroy it .Hondoq is the best beach ever ,turn Hondoq into a national park so everyone can enjoy .Hondoq Hondoq ,what a gem !!!

    14. denise. says:

      Joe Cutajar.ny Hondoq a GEM LOL LOL LOL LOL have U been there lately ?

    15. joe cutajar ny says:

      DENISE , unfortunatley i am not one of the lucky ones that can go to Hondoq any time i feel like it ,but i expect that when i visit Hondoq i find it surrounded by the beauty of nature and clean water so my family and i can swim and enjoy and not find a raped Hondoq full of apartments ,hotels ,villas and a marina that will turn the clean and clear water into an oil infested beach .Maybe you are one of those who dont know what you have ,HOW SAD !!!!! Why dont you complain to the right authorities to clean up Hondoq ,or that will fall on deaf ears ?? Hondoq is the best beach ever !!! What a GEM !!!! What a GEM in the middle of the Mediterranean and how sad and what a shame they want to destroy it !!!!!!!!!!

    16. Alfred Grech says:

      Here’s a glimpse of the beauty of Hondoq ir-Rummien.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYGyWtZhvjU

    17. Marisa Galea NY says:

      I will hope and pray that the Council in Qala will prevail and save our Hondoq. I have little faith in MEPA after they allowed the grand hotel to build whatever they wanted and even took part of the Belvedere. Too bad the Council in Ghajnsielem doesn’t work for it’s people like the Council in Qala does. Shame on them.

    18. mario Pace says:

      @ Denise .I go to Hondoq often and it is full of people enjoying themselves.

      In regards cleaning up ,everyone knows that this current government has let it the way it is so it will be called a DERELICT PLACE a word the the developers always like to quote

      @Joe Cutajar keep on showing that you really care for our island .Well done

    19. EMMANUEL MAGRO says:

      I am still waiting for the ITC, THE GOZO MALTA PROJECT,MINISTER FOR GOZO
      ( ICTGM ) lounched now,it was said that it was in full swing, a year ago,and I am
      still waiting. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    20. Phil Cox says:

      I have just returned from a holiday, staying in Qala from where I visited Hondoq several times.

      I do hope the bay stays as it is, a beautiful backwater that is an asset to Qala and Gozo, instead of an overdeveloped mess that will change Hondoq and Qala for ever.

      Gozo is special, a mediterranean gem. You should cherish it and keep it safe, not build on it. Good luck to all those who wish to save Hondoq, you have my support.

    21. Bradly UK says:

      Hondoq could be a nice little bay if only the your local qala council would do something about keeping it clean and free of debri, the last time we flew over from Manchester and spent time in Gozo and a few days down Hondoq, my little daughter stepped on a rusty nail or a piece of sharp object and had to have a tetanus injection, The kiosk could be little be more presentable and reasonable priced as we find it more espensive then a posh restaurant with a proper menu and LESS Gozitan Flies.

    22. cikku says:

      @ Bradly .Hondoq doesn`t belong to the local council and I can assure you that if that was the case the council would definitely do something about it, as Paul Buttigieg is the main person that has been in the forefront to save Hondoq .

      In regards to the kiosk prices I do agree with you as this is not the first time that I heard these stories

    23. Asta.. Sweden says:

      cikku believe me they are not stories they are real.

    24. EMMANUEL MAGRO says:

      The man that nearly destroyed what St.Paul had established in Malta and Gozo !!!!!!!!!!!

    25. EMMANUEL MAGRO says:

      I am a property owner and I was born in Qala ,80 years ago and still have the original
      passport to verify that I am still reckognized as a Gozitan,with British Subject,that I
      have been proud of,and I still appriated what the help that we Great Britten helped
      us during the 2 nd.world war,by sending us convoys of food so we do not starve to
      death ,when they themselves ,were big trouble ,now my people have been praying
      for the man ,that was responsible for throwing my friends the British out of Malta !!!!!!!!!!

    26. Joe Magro from Qala says:

      Hondoq ir-Rummien is in the eyes of the Maltese and they don’t take ” NO” for an answer I hope these people are the same people that visit Hondoq ir-Rummien during the Summer days and see lot of people there enjoying them selves and see that there is a reason why they should built a Hotel and a Marrina, I hope this beautiful Park stays as it is because everyone can enjoy this place. I hope one day I will be there to be able swim, I was born in Qala 68 Years ago and I am a QALA BOY so don’t forget it.

      • MARIO DELICATA says:

        Mr. Joe Magro, I am Maltese and yes I have my eyes on Hondoq, but only as it is in its habitat nuture. I happen to visit Gozo for the past 44 years and always visit hondoq, nowadys with my kids. Why generlize saying we Maltese wont take no for an answer? why such hate against us the Maltese ?

      • Joe Magro from Qala says:

        Hello Mario I do not hate Maltese because I have reasons not to hate Maltese because my wife is from Mosta OK, but what want to also say to those who want to built a Hotel and Marina, there was meetings and it was 85% not to built but it is always comming up on the latest News so if you think that I hate Maltese you are very wrong and I will apologize if I hurt anyone with my comment. I am still very much Maltese from QALA Gozo.

      • A Grech says:

        Joe, don’t generalize. Hondoq may be in the eyes of a developer but don’t point your fingers at all the Maltese. I’m half Ghawdxi and love Gozo dearly but many Maltese love our sister island – Gozitans are not the only ones who love their island.

    27. mario Pace says:

      Hondoq developers are Gozitans( the known ones) I am pretty sure that there are also the hidden ones

      The only people who are in favour are those that don`t care about the suffering that they will create on the local community ,

      Laeve Hondoq for everyone to enjoy

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