The Malta Independent 25 February 2020, Tuesday

Iklin quarry set to be rehabilitated into agricultural field

Tuesday, 11 February 2020, 11:58 Last update: about 14 days ago

The Planning authority is set to discuss a planning application requesting the rehabilitation of an existing quarry into an agricultural field on Triq tal-Balal, Iklin.

The development site falls Outside Development Zone (ODZ) and lies in the northern periphery of Iklin Local Council boundary. The site is accessed through a lane off Triq tal-Balal, which in turn links Naxxar, Iklin and San Gwann. The road fronting the site has historically served to access the quarries. The access road will only be used for a limited period, for the backfilling process, the case officer’s report read.

“The site has been used for agriculture, parts have been used to cultivate fodder, while the quarry void that used to accommodate an orchard of citrus trees seems to have been abandoned. The site has a surface area of circa 4,100 square metres and it is estimated to be infilled with 23,000 cubic metres of material.”

The application would see the backfilling the current void with inert waste from the applicant’s core business of excavation works. “The void will be brought to level with the surrounding area and the soil level will be increased. The application is also seeking consent for the construction of retaining walls with franka stone blocks and a rubble wall delineating the quarry boundary on one side and for the retention of material on the other side due to difference in levels. The proposal also includes the reinstatement of a stretch of existing rubble wall up to a maximum of 1.2 metres height to blend with the surroundings… The Proposal does not involve any buildings or structures and will not use any utilities,” the case officer’s report read.

The Case Officer noted that the proposed rehabilitation of this quarry is line with SPED Thematic Objective 7 which promotes the restoration of quarries once these become in disuse. “Moreover, the proposal is also considered in accordance with the respective local plan policies and the objectives of the Waste Management Plan, the Inert Waste Disposal in Quarries document and the Code of Practice for Quarrying operations in Malta and Gozo. The application is therefore being favourably recommended.”

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