The Local Council of San Lawrenz has come out against the proposed extension and redevelopment of a quarry off Dwejra coast, revealed by The Shift on Friday.
In a statement, the council stressed the area’s importance from an environmental, ecological and archaeological point of view. “The Council also points out that this place is located in a Natura 2000 protected area and any development in the Dwejra area will not only be causing irreparable damage but will continue to suffocate Gozo to the detriment of the tourism sector”.
It also said it would be “at the forefront in safeguarding this place” urging associations and individuals to join its fight to protect the locality.
The statement was signed by four PN councillors, while Labour Party council member George Camilleri decided to disassociate himself from the statement.
On Friday The Shift revealed how Vijay Kumar Berlia, a businessman with interests in various sectors including chemicals and real estate, filed an application with the Planning Authority to extend and develop the quarry known as ‘Tal-Qattara’ in San Lawrenz. The application (PA3961/20) is being fronted by architect Alexander Bigeni.
Meanwhile, Berlia seems to have taken an interest in local politics.
In a preliminary assessment on the development application, the Environment and Resource Authority (ERA) made it clear that the project is completely objectionable as the site is protected for its ecological importance and high landscape value and might also compromise the whole stability of the Dwejra area.
“The additional opening of this site to new excavation works would have a significant cumulative impact both on the landscape and on the site ecology, since important segments of these major valleys would be engulfed by quarrying activity on all sides, transforming them into compromised natural enclaves dominated by the surrounding quarries.”