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Zminijietna – Voice of the Left joined other environmental and progressive forces in the call for MEPA to revise the local plan with regards the area of Hondoq ir-Rummien to its original state pre 2006. The area was earmarked as an area for agricultural and afforestation use.
“The proposed project is outside the development zone, mostly frequented by the public for swimming, hiking and recreation purposes. People have every right to continue to enjoy public spaces. These are important for everyday democracy,” the leftist organisation said.
Zminijietna continued, “a referendum conducted among the people of Qala had shown that 85% of the people disagree with the proposed project. Zminijietna also urge the general public to support this grassroots’ initiative to establish Hondoq ir-Rummien as a national park, run by the local council and rehabilitated into an open space for everyone as originally set out in the area’s local plan.”
“A Petition in favour of the public organisations’ call to MEPA could be signed on http://www.soshondoq.blogspot.com/, ” concluded Zminijietna.
Earlier this month Moviment Harsien Hondoq together with Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Ramblers Association, NatureTrust, FOE Malta and Din l-Art Helwa issued a joint statement urging MEPA to revise the Local plan back to what it was before the 2006 local plans and refuse permit for the development of Hondoq.
In a letter to the Authority Moviment Harsien Hondoq said, the area of Hondoq was re-designated for tourism and marine related uses in 2006, without public consultation. MEPA’s Audit Office admitted that this lack of consultation should not have happened, considering the ‘substantial’ nature of the changes.
Previously, the policy agreed upon by MEPA and the Qala Local Council, stated that: “The preferred use is to reclaim the area either for agricultural use or afforestation.”
The NGO pointed out that “had the due consultation process been followed, it’s highly unlikely such changes would have been accepted.”