MDA opposes proposed development in ODZ quarry
The Malta Developers Association refers to an outline development application for the utilisation of an existing disused quarry in Marsascala to erect a large commercial complex, including a basement parking area and storage facilities, underlying commercial outlets and offices. The quarry is sited in an area that is Outside Development Zone (ODZ).
Although the rehabilitation of disused quarries is positive, since an abandoned quarry is considered as a lesion in every topographical setup, it should not serve as a trampoline for one to obtain approval of developments that are incongruent in ODZ areas.
All development, with particular emphasis on ODZ sites, should be in line with existing policies and therefore MDA feels that commercial developments, such as the one being proposed, should not be allowed by being depicted as a rehabilitation of a disused quarry. This proposal is unjustified and would create a dangerous precedent since disused quarries should only be rehabilitated, with the end result being an added environmental benefit after they are used as infill sites for inert material.
MDA points out that the current demand for space for the disposal of construction material can only be satisfied if good use is made of existing disused quarries for such a purpose. Issuing a permit for the so-called rehabilitation of a disused quarry with a commercial development will create a very bad precedent, with other quarry owners attempting to do the same in the future.
Quarry owners, who are also MDA members, understand and support MDA in this regard, more so since the refusal of similar permits in future would lead to justified complaints of discrimination. MDA always insists on having a level playing field and strongly feels that it would be wrong if one particular quarry owner is given a permit that subsequently cannot be given to all others in similar circumstances.