Sheep farm on ODZ virgin land in Għasri recommended for approval

An application for the development of a sheep farm on a stretch of virgin ODZ land in Għasri has been recommended for approval by the planning authority.

The proposal seeks permission to construct a new sheep farm to serve as a relocation of the applicant’s current agricultural activity at Tal-Imdawra in Wied tal-Ort, Għasri.

The local council of Għasri formally opposed the development proposal, saying that the proposed site is clearly located in an ODZ zone with good agricultural quality soil.

“The proposed development will also seriously encroach on the features of the locality and permanently mark the entrance to the village,” Għasri local council said.

The area, known as Ta’ Żjażra, is located along Triq Karm Caruana, which means that anyone entering the locality would be met with a horror. The proposed development would occupy approximately 3,800 square meters of ODZ land.

The application also goes against the policy of the Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED), as well as the Guidelines for the Design of Rural Policy (RPDG).

“It is clear that the proposed development should not be viewed positively as it goes against the provisions of Sped and also of the RPDG,” the local council had said.

“Scheduled locations (Area/site of Class A or Class B archaeological significance, and/or Ecologically Significant Area/Site of Scientific Importance Level 1 or 2) are in principle considered unsuitable locations unless that it can be duly demonstrated by the necessary assessment that the development does not compromise the planning characteristics of the site,” he stressed.

The farm is under construction with plans to house 92 adult female ewes, plus two rams and followers, also including all the facilities needed for a viable ewe milking farm.

The development application now awaits final decision.

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