On the 28th January 2018, Wirt iż-Żejtun held its Annual General Meeting and the following motion regarding the proposal for the extension of the Industrial Zone of Buleben was passed unanimously.
The motion reads as follows:
The Annual General Meeting of the organisation Wirt iz-Zejtun was informed of
the plan to extend the Buleben Industrial Zone. It was also informed that
farmers in the area had been served with a notice of eviction by the Malta
Industrial Parks and told to vacate in a short period of time the area they had
been cultivating for a number of years. It is to be noted that this proposal had
been mentioned and discussed during the Annual General Meeting of 2015.
Whereas the organisation recognises that the land in question belongs to the
government and that the rent due on the land had not been accepted by the
owner since the sixties, the organisation also understands the need for
economic development for the benefit of the community. However it also
believes that there is still space remaining in areas which have been earmarked
for industrial use, and this without taking up agricultural and/or rural land.
The organisation observes that in the Local Plan for the South, which was
approved in 2006, there exists the possibility of an extension of the industrial
zone which extends up to Tarxien Road and Cospicua Road. It also notes that
within the same Local Plan, there is a declaration by the Department of
Agriculture about the need of protecting this space from development because
of the agricultural value of the area. It also notes that within this same
agricultural area there is a large number of carob trees, which have been there
for hundreds of years. It must be kept in mind that there have been various
archaeological finds these past years within this same area.
The organisation notes that if the Buleben Industrial Zone is extended as
planned, the perimeter wall of the extension will be in very close proximity
(tens of metres) to the residential area of Gebel San Martin. The residents of
this area are already suffering from the inconvenience of noise pollution from
the existing factories.
The organisation maintains that if this plan is brought to fruition, the urban
zone of Zejtun will become physically part of the urban zone of the Grand Harbour Area. In this way, besides doing away with the concept of a green
belt, Zejtun will lose the characteristics of a village.
The Annual General Meeting therefore unconditionally objects to these plans
and asks the Malta Industrial Parks to retract them. It also asks the
Department of Agriculture to continue protecting the agricultural value of the
area, as well as the Planning Authority to stop the issue of development
permits for the area, in conformity with the statements made in the Local Plan
for the South (2006). It also asks the Planning Authority, in its next Local Plan,
to limit the boundary of the Industrial Zone to that extant today and to remove
the possibility of any future extension beyond that existing as of today.
It herewith assigns the Executive Council the task of collecting signatures for a
petition against this extension as stated in this motion. The petition is to be
delivered to the competent authorities as soon as possible.
All Maltese, who have our environment at heart and who wish to make Malta a
better place for our children, are urged to sign the petition. For more
information, please visit the Wirt iż-Żejtun page on Facebook.