Reference is made to the Planning Commission’s final decision, in favour of the demolition of an existing dilapidated dwelling and the construction of a house with a swimming pool in Triq Ta’ Gafan, Qala.

In its comments as consultant during the application phase of the project, ERA was very clear in stating that it considers any proposed development and other physical interventions at this site unacceptable in principle. The permitting of such proposal creates a precedent for further built-up structures within this sensitive area, which cumulatively would result in the uptake of land in the countryside for unacceptable urban uses, with consequential additional impacts on the rural landscape and the visual amenity of the area.

The site of the proposed development is located in a very sensitive rural location. In fact, the site is directly within an Area of High Landscape Sensitivity (AHLS) atop a predominantly undisturbed rural coast. The existing stand-alone building appears to be an old traditional rural structure characterised by traditional features. This structure is an integral part of the character of the surrounding rural landscape.

ERA remains of the opinion that the proposed development will result in over-development of the site. It will also result in land parcelling and fragmentation of land, contributing to significant take-up of extensive tract of undeveloped rural land within the countryside. Other impacts include the introduction of materials that are incompatible with the rural context and scenic qualities of the area. The introduction of light and miscellaneous disturbance on site and in the surrounding area will contribute to the ecological degradation of the wider area.

ERA’s objections were justified and substantiated by Prof Victor Axiak during today’s PA Board meeting.​