Hondoq project appeal hearing postponed until October

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Qala Creek project appeal hearing taking place on TuesdayThe MEPA Board appeal hearing which was due to be held at noon today, on the proposed Hondoq ir-Rummein – Qala Creek project application, has been postponed again, as the developers failed to present submissions related to their appeal on time.

The date has now been given as October the 16th, after the developers requested an extension with respect to the presentation of their submissions.

The first appeal hearing, which was originally due to take place last February, was postponed due to a legal issue and both MEPA and the developers had to respond within two months and had been due to be heard today.

The plans, which had included the development of a large hotel, real estate units and a yacht marina, brought a public outcry. The developers then dropped the idea of the marina, limiting themselves to a ‘swimming lagoon’ for the proposed Qala Creek project.

MEPA had said that these amendments must be submitted in a new application. The original postponement was then made to allow time for both MEPA and the developers of the proposed Qala Creek Project to respond on legal issues.

Environmental NGOs Moviment Harsien Hondoq, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Ramblers Association, FOE Malta, Nature Trust, GUG, Din l-art Helwa and Wirt Ghawdex, said in October 2011, that they had studied the 2009 EIS Co-ordinated Report where the developers themselves stated “the project would struggle if it had to be developed as a stand-alone hotel.” They say that the “project is expected to double the 5-star room capacity in Gozo, despite the current demand for five-star hotel properties in Gozo being weak.”

Both the environment unit and Transport Malta had recommended that the application be turned down.

The NGOs had urged MEPA to refuse such a project and to revert the land to its original designation as a nature park.

The Qala Local Council had said previously “that it had already investigated the various aspects of creating an environment and heritage park, a project that would draw much-needed tourists to Gozo, and support existing hotels and catering establishments.”

The Labour Leader Joseph Muscat on a visit to Gozo in February, gave details of a proposal for the abandoned desalination plant at Hondoq.

The proposed project recommended that the plant should be dismantled, with recreational facilities built there to replace it for the enjoyment of the people of Qala. Clint Camilleri, who is an architect and Labour candidate for the upcoming Local Council elections, said that the facilities could include an indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, public toilets, changing rooms with first aid facilities and a restaurant and cafeteria.

The Labour Leader had said that, “the buildings would be designed and constructed in such a way as to make them harmonise with the natural habitat of the bay. The design would also ensure that the highest environmental standards are met, making use of recycled material, recycled aggregate, recycled concrete, geo-thermal energy and photovoltaic panels for energy.”

The SOS Hondoq petition is available for signing by Clicking Here.

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    12 Responses

    1. mario Pace says:

      Why was this postponed till October ,maybe they were promised something .

      Something doesn`t seen right here

    2. albert m says:

      Ngo`s watch what is happening behind your back? This has taken much too long and surely promises are being made

    3. JESMOND BORG says:

      These gimicks we are use to them now this is like a never ending story ,drama. etc.
      Let’s go for our proposed project about hondoq area that we gave before local council ellections.and leave the other area for a heritage park.

    4. Joseph Attard says:

      Jesmond are you the Labour councilor in Qala? Were you at the hearing by any chance as it would be good to hear first hand what happened exactly?

      By the way what do you mean by, ‘Let’s go for our proposed project about hondoq area that we gave before local council ellections.and leave the other area for a heritage park.’

    5. jesmond borg says:

      Yes a’am the labour councilor of Qala .Yes i mean about the proposed project about hondoq plant to be dismantled and replace it to affordabll complex like indoor swiming pool, changing rooms ,fitness room,first aid room .toilets and cafeteria.and the remaining area will be for camping site and heritage park.Don’t dream that the local council can do this alone with his money but a project between the goverment and private with the local council..

    6. Joseph Attard says:

      Jesmond which remaining area are you referring to when you mention the heritage park and campsite?

    7. jesmond borg says:

      I am refering about the old quarry area,this was already proposed by mepa years ago but they changet it. I hope that this will come true one day not leave this area like it is.

    8. Joseph Attard says:

      Jesmond thanks for clearing this up because some years back I was at the public hearing standing at the back where Moviment Graffitti had those three posters in their hands were and I personally heard you saying these words in Maltese, “Take away the yacht marina and we will talk.” That is why I asked you if you were the same Jesmond Borg that was at that public hearing.

      What did you mean by that at that time? Because I remember all the developers cheered you up quite a bit when you said that. Just in case you have forgotten I have just found this link of that hearing on U Tube to refresh your memory.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QUP3Gm_OFM&feature=related

    9. JESMOND BORG says:

      Yes, I know what I said but I will always better hear what other people says, who I am to decide, thats the best thing to discuss and decide the best way, about the plant project we have to talk and listen what others have to say. I never change my decisions about Hondoq, not like others, some of them where against everything and now are willing with the plant project. Do you remember that. I hope what ever comes will be good for everyone for our future people, because then it will be too late to arrange and discuss!!!!!!

    10. Peter says:

      @ Jesmond Borg

      Naqbel hafna mieghek. F’lopinjoni tieghi ghandu isir progett fil barriera abbandunata ma genb il- bajja tal- Hondoq. Jekk tkun proposta lukanda fil barriera abbandunata xi hsara ser ikun hemm ? Basta li l- bajja tal- Hondoq ma tintmesx. Ahna f’Ghawdex xoghol irridu biex forsi iqum minn din it- telqa u jekk nirrifjutaw progetti bhal dawn allura kif ahna ser nibqghu b’Ghawdex mitluq.

    11. mario Pace says:

      Peter you seem to be contradicting Jesmond Borg because he is saying that he will go with what the people want. so why are you saying that you agree with him when you are saying that hondoq needs a hotel to be built. ?
      Since most hotels are closing down in Gozo, what guarantee is there that it will be successful in Hondoq? What will happen if it makes losses? Turn it into another block of flats?
      This has happened before. Many promises were made before mega projects and then once the permit was issued the public was ignored. Who in their right mind trusts people who only care about their pockets?
      Why is there this obsession that work is only created through building new hotels and flats???
      Everyone agrees that more work should be created in Gozo but why always at the expense of more virgin land? We all know the reason because they buy cheap land and then they want to make millions out of it. Create work in industrial zones and no one will complain.
      Tourists come to gozo for places like Hondoq

    12. Joseph Attard says:

      @Jesmond Borg

      First of all I am not asking you to decide. When the referendum was held the people decided and if I am correct it was 85% against and you should follow that decision as happened last year when the referendum for divorce passed.

      Secondly, I do agree with you that whatever happens it should be in the people`s interest.

      Thirdly, who are those people that changed their minds because I would like to know as I am against speculation and people that are in high places should be exposed.

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