Planning Authority postpones decision on Mgarr Ix-Xini sheep farm

The ODZ Planning Commission postponed its decision on an application to sanction two illegal residences with pools the applicant now says he wants to develop into a sheep farm in Gozo’s Mgarr ix-Xini.

The planning directorate recommended a decision for an outright refusal, but the Commission deferred its decision to next month.

Its decision followed a request for a postponement by the applicant, John Debono, and his architect, Edwin Mintoff, who did not turn up for the hearing.

The Authority did not give a reason for the postponement or explain why the applicant asked for a deferral.

When this happens, it usually indicates the preparation of new plans, which may be submitted as part of the ongoing application process.

Through an application filed last year, Debono asked to sanction massive illegalities he developed over the past years, turning idyllic ODZ land on the slopes of Mgarr ix-Xini into two residences with pools and other facilities.

Area of illegal development in Mgarr ix-Xini.

All this development, together with a concreted road leading to his land, was carried out without a permit. The only permit issued to Debono in 2007 was to build an agricultural store and a reservoir to water his fields.

After completing all his illegalities in 2016, Debono applied to sanction his irregular buildings. The PA turned this down, and the refusal was confirmed at the appeal stage by the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal.

Yet Debono is not taking no for an answer.

Last year, he submitted another application, this time saying his illegally built structures, now residences, were to be partially demolished and expanded so that he could turn them into a sheep farm.

Both the Environment and Resources Authority and the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage objected, doubting Debono’s real intentions.

The Agricultural Advisory Committee also said the applicant was not a registered farmer.

In recent years, Gozo has been flooded with applications for sheep and goat farms in Outside Development Zones in what is seen as a move to allow residential developments in the countryside.

Currently, there are 633 farms for sheep and goats in Gozo.


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simon oosterman
simon oosterman
1 month ago

Give the ‘friends’ another chance.

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