The Malta Independent 18 August 2018, Saturday

Bulebel extension is on land marked for industrial development – Chris Cardona

Julian Bonnici Wednesday, 14 February 2018, 17:54 Last update: about 7 months ago

Economy Minister Chris Cardona has insisted that the proposed extension of the industrial estate in Bulebel in Zejtun will occur on land that is available for industrial development.

Cardona, who was speaking in Parliament following a parliamentary question tabled by MP Edwin Vassallo, said that “the land in question was classified as available land for industrial development in 2006, and was transferred to Malta Industrial Parks, for this very purpose, in 2009.”

The last rationalisation exercise was conducted in 2006 by a PN administration.

He also said that the design for the extension is still in its preliminary stages; and that Malta Industrial Parks will be conducting studies into the social and environmental considerations of the land before any process with the competent authorities begins.

He said that this will be a comprehensive process which will include consultation from all the stakeholders, and that other alternatives to the site are not excluded and will be considered.

This parliamentary question comes after the PN appealed to the government to change its decision to "destroy 120,000 square meters of land which has agricultural, historical and biological value”,  claiming that the proposal runs directly against the government's own policy document, the Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development.

"Rural Object 1 of SPED clearly states that good agricultural land should be protected from being developed. Rural Objective 2 also states that where development cannot be done elsewhere than rural areas, one must choose a place that is already identified as an area of containment, has been previously developed, or already has a building on it; all while ensuring that the proposed development will improve the rural environment," the statement read.

The party also said that the local plan for the south of Malta also states that the land, which was identified as having 'high-grade agricultural value', must require a study before any industrial development can be permitted.

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