Appeal against Gharb firework factory planning permit turned down

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Appeal against Gharb firework factory planning permit turned downAn appeal by the Gharb Local Council against the planning permit for a new fireworks factory in the locality, has been turned down by the Planning Authority Tribunal.

The Council said that this new fireworks factory is less than 300 metres from the San Dimitri Chapel and 500 metres from residences.

The Gharb Council in a statement today said that if the fireworks factory is built the local residents, owners who till the land in this agricultural area, visiting tourists, and the nearby chapel, “will be put at risk on a daily basis.”

The Council held a referendum under the supervision of the Electoral Commission to let its residents decide whether they want more fatal fireworks factories within their locality. The vote was clearly against.

It went on to say that the decision made by the Gharb residents “was not even considered.”

The Council accused the Planning Authority of a “lack of sensibility” for not scheduling the area of San Dimitri. Which it said was done to allow the construction in the area of other “factories filled with explosives and deaths.”

The Council went on to say that it would use, “all possible measures to prevent this damage and attempted suicide for Gharb’s residents,” who it said, “continuously live in fear during the incoming transportation of raw material towards the factories and also during the outgoing transportation of the final product towards its destination.”

It also questioned the number of trips made carrying fireworks from Malta by sea, their quantities, and if they were logged in an inventory.

The Council complained that the Authorities were working along the lines of a two-way measure on the transportation of fireworks, because the unloading of fireworks from ship to land was no longer authorised to enter Gozo through Hondoq, following a request made to the authorities.

However, the amendments made to fireworks factories policies “made it easier for a person to request a permit for a fireworks factory in a village which has already suffered the consequences of unfair and wrong decisions,” the Council said.

It argued that, “as a result of this farmers are being forced to abandon their fields to avoid dangerous risks on their lives. This is against the fundamental rights for anyone who has the right to enjoy his private property.”

File photograph: Gharb Council

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