20 NOVEMBER 2002
The Qala Creek project proponents, the latest development sensation to hit the headlines, will still seek the judgement of MEPA in order to proceed with their project.
The architects and owners of the project have said that there is still a long way to go for the actual project to commence. They added that they will continue to seek all the necessary guarantees for the environment to be safeguarded.
On the outcome of the Qala referendum held at Qala this weekend Edward Bencini of Bencini & Associates said:
"Yes, the site being proposed for this development is Qala Creek, but the project, if approved will be for Gozo - which consists of 14 Local Councils - and Malta."
Mr Bencini said more specialised reports will follow, and first and foremost the developers will see that the concept of the Marina and the whole of the project will be according to acceptable norms.
"Contrary to what is being said in some sections of the media, this project will not impinge on Hondoq ir-Rummien at all and is actually stopping just short of the area.
"We are also planning to create a heritage trail at the developers expense, stretching from Hondoq ir-Rummien to Dahlet Qorrot."
Some green groups including Alternattiva Demokratika are against such a project.
Qala's Parish Priest also took a stand against the project and argued that it would impinge on Christian values of the Qala people.
Mr Bencini said that such statements were biased and this was proof that the referendum was not held in a free and calm atmosphere.
The site earmarked for this development includes a disused quarry, which was purchased by the owners in 1988.
The Italian seaside village of Positano on the Italian Amalfitana Coast is the inspiration for the Qala Creek project.
The developers are stressing that this project could create 400 new jobs on the Gozitan Island. Moreover, it includes a marina, a destination port, a five-star hotel, apartments, a wharf and jetty for fishermen and more.
The hotel will cascade from the top of the hill down to the creek and the Qala Creek developers are planning to run a project which is environmentally sound.
The whole project is estimated to cost approximately Lm37.5 million and would take about five years to complete. It would include 260 residences, ample parking facilities, between 50 to 200 berths, and a destination port for 50 potential day-trippers."