Government plans to uproot some 300 trees for Marsalforn road widening

Project will lead to loss of farmland the size of two football pitches

 

The government is planning another massacre of hundreds of protected trees and the permanent loss of large tracts of arable agricultural land to make way for the widening of the main road which connects Rabat to Marsalforn in Gozo.

In an application filed in 2019 by the Gozo Ministry, some 300 old trees lining the Rabat-Marsalforn road will be removed.

In addition, more than 11,000 square metres of agricultural land currently being cultivated will be taken away from farmers and permanently lost.

The works, which fall under the direction of the Gozo Ministry, will also involve the temporary take-up of an additional 8,000 square metres of agricultural land along the route – to be reinstated once the project is completed, according to the plans submitted to the Planning Authority.

The project, expected to cost millions, will transform the main road leading from Rabat to Marsalforn into a four-lane road and will include also a 2.5 metre cycle lane and a footpath.

Designs show the clusters of trees along the road set to be chopped or moved.

Gozitans who spoke to The Shift were perplexed, questioning whether such an environmental impact was necessary when traffic congestion was not a particular concern along that road. The government referred to it as “occasional congestion”.

The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) has expressed concern about the uprooting of such a massive number of trees that have characterised this road for years, according to the Project Description Statement.

In an attempt to placate the anticipated objections against this project, the Gozo Ministry is proposing that some of the trees are uprooted and replanted along the same road, while those chopped will be replaced by new indigenous trees.

The project’s statement outlines further impact on the environment including permanent changes to the visual landscape of the area, the destruction of old rubble walls, interference with nearby natural watercourses, and the loss of some 3,000 square metres of soil, which the Ministry is promising to re-use.

Although ERA expressed concern about the size of the project, it still gave its consent. The Authority stated it had already managed to reduce the environmental impacts of the project following discussions with the Ministry.

Architectural designs for the project were submitted by William Lewis, the governing Labour Party’s organising secretary, also responsible for designs for the Central Link project that also resulted in a massacre of hundreds of trees and the loss of arable land despite public protests.

The application – PA03000/19 – is open for submissions and objections until 12 February.

                           
                               
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carlo
carlo
26 days ago

sejha lill-ghawdxin ta rieda tajba – THALLUHOMX JGHADDU MIN FUQKHOM KIF GHAMLU F’MALTA li bl-iskuza tal-izvilupp qerdu l-ftit spazju u hdura li kellna. Uru li inthom veru veru ghandkhom ghal qlabkhom il-gzira sabiha ta’ Ghawdex. F’Ghawdex bzonn ta sptar u mezzi ahjar ta trasport bejn Malta u Ghawdex (mhux xi mina jew pont – dawk huma biss mezz kif jeqirdu l-Ghawdex u jdahllu xi kemxa flus).

M. Galea
M. Galea
26 days ago

Qatt ma ingema traffic f din t triq u tistghu timmaginaw ghalfejn dan l progett! Ilni nghid, progetti bhal dawn equal commissions! Purament tal misthijaaaa!

Marian Galea
Marian Galea
25 days ago

Shame shame shame

Chris Galea
Chris Galea
25 days ago

One more example of the way that this government operates. Destroy the natural environment to widen a road without following the legal process and without trying to minimise damage to the environment and the farmers livelihoods. Have they explained what they are trying to achieve with this application and how they have tried to avoid cutting down so many trees including the centuries old trees that are on the centre strip half way down the road? Where does the need for a four lane road come from? The farmers have confirmed that while the road is busy it is never ever anywhere close to jammed.

Farrugia
Farrugia
25 days ago

Wara li ftit baqa x jinqered f Malta,issa jmiss li neqirdu Ghawdex.Komplu ivvutawlhom.

Anna Borg Cardona
Anna Borg Cardona
20 days ago

Jiena nibki meta nisma dawn il-pjanijiet ta’ distruzzjoni. Malta ghaxxaqnija imma issa Ghawdex ukoll?? L-Ghawdex ‘djamant’. Ahna tlifna kull mument ta’ kwiet u paci. MImlijin cranes u hoss kontinwu ta’ kostruzzjoni, toroq maqlughin u dhahen. Is-sigar jaghtuna n-nifs. L-ispazju u l-hdura jaghtuna l-kalma. Kull fejn jinbena jirdoppja t-traffiku u dhahen, jizdiedu il-problemi ta’ supplies, ilma, dranagg, hmieg, gbir ta’ skart, hoss, kollox. U titlef kull sens ta’ paci f’hajtek! Jiena qatt ma rajt problemi f’din it-triq. Min jaf min se jdahhal kemxa hux? U min huma r-rebbieha?. Zgur li mhux il-poplu Ghawdxi! THALLUHOMX!

Josephine Sammut
Josephine Sammut
20 days ago

Tista tghiduli ghalfejn ha teqirdu dan il gmiel? Qatt kien hemm xi traffiku f’din it triq? Mhux ahjar issewwu din it triq minflok?

Karen Sullivan
Karen Sullivan
19 days ago

BUZZ OFF FROM GOZO!!!

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