The Malta Independent 18 June 2024, Tuesday
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Organisations call on public to object to monstrous 'Comino village' development

Thursday, 12 January 2023, 09:57 Last update: about 2 years ago

Environmental organisations are urging the public to oppose developers’ plans to create a complex of villas on the island of Comino as part of the proposed plans for the new Comino Hotel filed by Hili Group.

Objections to this development application (PA/4777/20) can be submitted to the Planning Authority by 23 January via this online form: https://pa.movimentgraffitti.org/permit/24

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The plans, currently being considered by the Planning Authority, would see the site of the former Comino Hotel redeveloped, including the replacement of the nine derelict bungalows currently at Santa Marija Bay by a much larger complex of 19 villas complete with convenience store and amenities, in what could become a “Comino village” of permanent residences through use of legal loopholes.

Comino is designated as a Rural Conservation Area, a Nature Reserve, a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area, an Important Bird Area (IBA) of International and EU Importance, a Natura 2000 site, a Bird Sanctuary, and a Dark Sky Heritage site. The proposed development is not compatible with any of these designations and has been described as “monstrous” and an “occupation by stealth” of this island which should be held in trust for all Maltese and Gozitan residents to enjoy.

The influx of heavy equipment, construction materials and workforce would cause massive environmental impact, as well as the irreversible destruction of areas of natural habitat for the complex itself and the greater area of disturbance around it. There are also grave concerns about increased traffic introduced to the area, and the handling and treatment of supplies and waste leading to an increase in vermin and litter which are directly harmful to the delicate local ecosystem, including populations of protected vulnerable Yelkouan Shearwaters in the direct vicinity.

ERA’s approval of the project is currently being appealed with the Planning Tribunal (EPRT) by several organisations.

It is shocking that such a development is even being considered. The public should take the opportunity to express their frustration at this proposed development, and remind the Planning Authority that their duty does not lie with developers and big business, but towards the greater good “on behalf of the community to provide a balanced and sustainable environment”, as per their mission statement.

The organisations filing the objection to PA/4777/20 are BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust Malta - FEE, and Ramblers’ Association of Malta.

 

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