DEVELOPMENT BOUNDARY FOR SITE IN XEWKIJA WAS NEVER CHANGED IN 2006
The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) makes reference to a media statement issued by Flimkien Ghall-Ambjent Ahjar whereby they accuse the Authority of issuing an outline development permit for the construction of a supermarket in Xewkija on a parcel of land that was outside the development zone and compromised by the 2006 rationalisation of local plans.
The Authority strongly rebuts this accusation and can confirm that the land in Xewkija on which the outline permit for the construction of a supermarket was granted was located within the development boundaries well before the approval of the local plans in 2006 or the Development Zone Rationalisation exercise in the same year. Actually, the development zone boundary in this area has not changed at least since the Temporary Provision schemes (TPS) were approved by Parliament way back in 1988. Additionally, the Structure Plan for the Maltese Islands and which set the strategic framework for development in the Maltese Islands also indicates for the site.
The relevant strategic policy is reproduced in full hereunder:
POLICY IND 3: New industrial sites will be identified in the relevant Local Plans west of the existing industrial estate at Xewkija, and/or at Ghajnsielem. The designation of the part of the existing Xewkija industrial estate on the north east side of the Mgarr to Victoria road is changed to showrooms exceeding 500 sq m customer floorspace and retail warehouses.
In this area, there have been no changes to the boundary in the 2006 local plan or the Development Zone Rationalisation exercise. This information is readily available on the MEPA website and anybody can independently verify these facts.
The Authority insists that prior to issuing any media statements FAA should ensure that it has all its facts right and up-to-date. Otherwise, it may unnecessarily alarm and mislead the public.