MEPA schedules Wied Ghajn Zejtuna in Santa Marija Estate, Mellieha.

Il-Wied ta' Għajn Żejtuna, at Santa Marija Estate in Mellieħa has been scheduled by MEPA (Malta Environment and Planning Authority) for the protection of its biodiversity and natural heritage.

Although within the development zone, only maintenance of existing structures that are already covered by a development permit will now be allowed. Proposals for bungalow development adjacent to the scheduled area will need to include a block plan showing the delineation of the rear property wall aligned with the scheduling boundary, and the scheduled part of the site retained in its natural setting.

FAA's (Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar) reaction

Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA) welcomes the announcement that MEPA has scheduled Wied Ghajn Zejtuna at the Santa Maria Estate in Mellieha. Although limited in size, this area forms a rich eco-system supported by the permanent the freshwater spring which runs through it. It is very encouraging that in designating it as a protected area and stipulating development limitations in the immediate area, MEPA has recognised the woodland’s value in terms of biodiversity and natural heritage.

FAA hopes that MEPA will soon take similar scheduling action at Balluta Square and also designate a buffer zone around Balluta Building. On a radio programme the St Julian’s Mayor has stated that the car-park will be limited to the area under the existing street however plans recently viewed by residents indicate a triangular-shaped car-park under the square. FAA is also concerned about the aesthetic impact of the proposed street-level terminus which would block views of Balluta Valley. FAA once again reiterates that public consultation should take place before such projects are launched, not only to take heritage, environmental and residents’ requirements into account but also to increase clarity and transparency in public planning issues.

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