Suspension of the recommendation for a sheep farm on ODZ virgin land in Għasri

The planning authority’s recommendation for approval of an application to develop a sheep farm on a stretch of virgin ODZ land in Għasri was suspended today.

This follows the official position of the local council of Għasri against the project, saying that the proposed site is clearly located in an ODZ area with good agricultural quality soil.

“As Mayor in local council representation, I have just attended the board hearing for PA/00887/20 where we presented our objection to this project and all other similar projects that have plans to build new farms in Ghasri,” said Għasri Mayor Daniel Attard. written in a social media post.

“We have successfully withheld the recommendation for approval and the council will conduct a site visit to determine whether this and other similar projects should proceed. The fight continues,” he said.

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

The area, known as Ta’ Żjażra, is located with Triq Karm Caruana, meaning that anyone entering the locality would be greeted by 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 PA will now conduct a site visit to determine if this and other similar projects should proceed.

What do you think of this recent development?