The Hondoq Project – Don’t allow it to be the death knell for Gozo
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It was with great interest that I read that Mepa recently issued their long awaited Development Planning Application Report (DPAR), recommending refusal of the proposed development at Hondoq.
Does this actually mean anything?
Are the MEPA Board Members finally going to show some guts and stick to their guns and refuse this appalling attempt to allow yet more precious countryside to be destroyed?
Why don't they face up to the face that the only people who wish to see Hondoq turned into another stinky marina are the developers who are only interested in making a quick buck to line their offshore tax-free havens!
Has MEPA actually gone into the boring nitty-gritty of what hundreds of new properties there will result in? Here are a couple of unpleasant side-effects:
For a start I am talking about huge amounts of sewage that will be generated – it is a long way to pump it to the only sewage/wastewater plant on the island. Judging by the numerous warnings issued not to swim in the sea below this facility it seems that it is barely coping with the present situation!
Or, that the added pollution to the area caused by marine traffic would be disastrous – can you just imagine dozens of boats emptying there sewage tanks in the (no longer) pristine water, like they do in the Blue Lagoon? Swimming in Hondoq would be a thing of the past!
The additional traffic generated would make it a nightmare to live anywhere in or en route to Qala – the situation is already bad with the hundreds of quarry trucks polluting the air with their fumes and dust.
I have lost count of how many letters I personally have written regarding the proposed destruction of Hondoq ir Rummien over the years, such as – The death knell for Gozo, or the Hondoq-ir-Rummien Project. Add to that the objections written by the numerous other people who love and care for Hondoq and it must amount to thousands!
Why doesn't anyone listen to us?
Why doesn't MEPA and its affiliated departments of lame ducks face up to the fact this area should be protected? We have thousands of empty and unfinished apartments on the island – look at Fort Chambray, look at all the shells in Xlendi and Marsalforn and in all the inland villages. At present, and in the foreseeable future, the island does not need more tourist accommodation.
I fully agree that Hondoq and its environs need a lot of attention, rehabilitation and cleaning up, but if the area were to be turned into a nature reserve this could easily be achieved with good planning. Perhaps through a National Heritage sponsorship scheme, like they do in many other countries. Where there is a will, there is a way.
I would sincerely like to take this opportunity to ask the MEPA Board Members to do what is right and vote against the development.
Lesley Gail Kreupl