Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex (DLĦGħ) strongly supports the joint proposals recently made by The Malta Chamber of Commerce and the Gozo Business Chamber and in particular the joint chamber proposals on better regulation to protect the unique natural, historical and cultural environment of Gozo; to control the proliferation of single-room developments in ODZ; and to ensure the thoughtful and judicious use of Gozitan landscape, respecting the island’s culture and authenticity.
DLĦGħ asks why the Government and the Planning Authority persist in allowing developers to defy all logical and emotional arguments and continue to allow disastrous developments in sensitive Gozitan sites, leaving behind them a trail of destruction. This failure to respect ‘the common good’ continues when the Gozitan and Maltese public, the Mayors of Gozo, all environmental NGOs and all Gozitan and Maltese business/tourism chambers are speaking with one voice to stop the destruction of Gozo and protect and preserve the island’s traditional architectural heritage, its way of life and its scenic rural and coastal vistas.
DLĦGħ is insisting that Government takes immediate action and calls on the authorities to act on its three point plan to stop the rot and allow Gozo the breathing space necessary until the present Planning policies and guidelines are reviewed and strengthened.
- A twelve-month suspension of DC15 Annex 2 to all new developments in Gozo (Annex 2 allows 5 storey buildings within 3 storey residential areas generating extreme densities, undermining quality of life and destroying the character of Gozo’s villages).
- A twelve-month moratorium period on all Outside Development Zone (ODZ) applications (Until new guidelines are drawn up to enable consistent planning decisions to be made in line with strict new policies, so as to stop the systemic misuse of ODZ land).
- A twelve-month extension of the Urban Conservation Area (UCA) boundaries by 250 metres (To create a buffer zone protecting the heritage of village cores until Conservation studies are carried out and Neighbourhood Plans reviewed imposing strict guidelines). DLĦGħ is firmly of the view that without the above immediate action Gozo, together with its economic prospects and tourism product, are doomed to fail, whereas immediate positive action will protect and preserve the island for this and future generations.
Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex (DLĦGħ) 17 September 2021