30 May- 5 June , 2001

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PA extends Kalkara valley consultation


By Kurt Sansone

The Planning Authority yesterday took heed of requests made by Kalkara residents, environmental NGOs, the local council and the Green Party, and extended the consultation phase over the Kalkara Valley re-planning exercise to the 15 June, 2001.

During a press presentation yesterday, PA Chairman Chris Falzon explained that the re-planning exercise was intended to save more than half of the Kalkara valley from development. He said that the whole valley had been earmarked for development ever since the 1960s.

In fact, the development schemes approved by parliament in 1988 earmarked large areas of the valley for future development. Mr Falzon said that in 1996 the PA froze all development applications in the area pending the re-planning exercise.

The PA’s current proposal aims to salvage a large tract of the valley because it is deemed to be of scientific importance, while specifying what type of development is to be carried out on the south facing slope.

Mr Falzon said that because of the nature of the area the PA went to great detail to specify what type of development can be constructed. The terraced houses and villas have to respect the sloping nature of the valley side. Provisions are also in hand to cater for water run off from the valley. Mr Falzon explained that this was the first time that the PA entered into such detail outlining the permitted height of any future development.

Over recent weeks various organisations including residents protested against the proposed re-planning exercise claiming that the valley constituted one of the few remaining open spaces in the Cottonera area.

Asked what is to become of the submissions by these individuals, the PA chairman said that the authority will analyse all the proposals it receives and evaluate them accordingly. However, he reiterated that the PA had to reconcile environmental concerns with the fact that people had bought land in the area because it was earmarked for development.

 



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