NGOs vow to keep fighting for Comino

A coalition of seven environmental NGOs has vowed to continue the fight against the Hili Group’s proposed high-end urban village development on Comino.

In a press statement on Thursday, the NGOs argued that the project would significantly impact Comino’s flora, fauna, and marine ecosystems.

They warned that the tranquil island would be transformed into a year-round commercial village, disrupting the delicate balance of nature, especially during the less touristy months.

Despite Comino being a designated Natura 2000 site, the controversial project, which was given the green light by the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), would see substantial excavation and the destruction of extensive protected garrigue habitats on the island.

The project will see the site of the former Comino Hotel redeveloped and will include replacing the nine derelict bungalows at Santa Marija Bay with a larger complex of 16 bungalows, complete with a convenience store and amenities.

The Court of Appeal’s recent dismissal of the NGOs’ appeal challenging the adequacy of the Appropriate Assessment Report has only strengthened the NGOs’ resolve. “Comino is the last relatively pristine spot in the country. It is too precious to sacrifice on the altar of luxury development for the few,” the press statement said.

Undeterred by the setback, the NGOs have vowed to take their fight to the Planning Authority and other relevant fora, determined to prevent what they see as the urbanisation and over-commercialization of one of Malta’s last remaining natural treasures.

The coalition of NGOs is formed by BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Moviment Graffitti, NatureTrust-FEE, and Ramblers.


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