Hondoq development to trigger wave of destruction
If Mepa accepts the proposal for the mega construction project at Hondoq ir-Rummien bay, in Gozo, the neighbouring coastline all the way up to Mgarr Harbour is very likely to become a series of large apartment blocks next to each other.
All the agricultural land on the Gozitan coast to the west of Hondoq ir-Rummien is already owned by some of Gozo’s largest building contractors, maltastar.com has learnt.
Ramla developers with land at Hondoq
Mepa is currently processing an application for the building of a yacht marina, a large hotel, and over 250 residences at the pristine Hondoq ir-Rummien bay. An environmental impact assessment has already confirmed that this beach enjoys the cleanest waters in Gozo, with no trace of sea pollution. But the proposed construction development is set to change this forever.
The proposed development will be built on the bay’s northernmost part, where a disused quarry is located. The land at the other side of the bay is also owned by building developers. In fact, the owners of this land are the same developers who are seeking to obtain a controversial permit for the building of villas at Ramla l-Hamra. This land includes ‘Ta’ Bumbarin’, a beautiful, yet little known, sandy inlet a few metres away from the Hondoq beach.
Neighbouring this land, all the fields leading to Mgarr Harbour are property of leading building contractors, land registry maps seen by this e-newspaper confirm. Currently, these developers are closely monitoring the development of the Hondoq ir-Rummien construction application. If the building of the residential complex at Hondoq is allowed, they will surely try their luck to get similar permits on their lands too.
If this happens, the scenic natural coastline which visitors to the island currently enjoy as the Gozo ferry cruises them towards the Mgarr Harbour, may end up a long line of seafront apartment blocks and holiday complexes. In fact, way back in 1992, a developer had already tried to file an application for the building of a large holiday complex on part of this coastline.
PN supports Hondoq, Ramla l-Hamra construction
The present administration, led by Lawrence Gonzi, fully supports the proposal to build a hotel, and over 250 apartment at Hondoq ir-Rummien. The Gozo Minister, Giovanna Debono, and Dr Gonzi himself, both said that the proposed construction project would be a “good thing for Gozo”. But residents in the neighbouring village of Qala, Labour, AD, and most environmental groups, are opposing this development. A referendum in Qala has shown that the majority of residents are against the development.
On the eve of the 8 March general elections, Dr Gonzi, who has openly expressed his support to the Hondoq construction project, is promising to take up Mepa under his control if he is re-elected Prime Minister.
Ramla developers have not given up yet
Dr Gonzi’s Nationalist Party is also in favour of the proposal to build villas at Ramla l-Hamra. In fact, the developers had even contacted Dr Gonzi for help. In turn, he assigned one of his aides, who was then also a Mepa board member, to fix a meeting between the developers and Mepa officials and sort out any difficulties that were delaying the final decision. This same Gonzi official later voted in favour of the project. Only the Labour representative on the Mepa board voted against the issuing of permits for building villas at Ramla l-Hamra.
But when a Labour local councillor in Xaghra launched an independent investigation, the authority was faced with numerous irregularities which forced it to revoke the permit. But the developers have not given up yet, as they already filed a request for Mepa to reconsider its decision to withdraw the permit.
And Mepa is expected to decide on this request soon after the upcoming general election.
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