Harsien Patrimonju Mosti

 We are currently documenting and evaluating the realities of the Maltese environmental conservation scenario and the roles and rights of those concerned, particularly the public and the authorities. HPM shall not stand and watch. Silence is complicity. Incomplete truths constitute falsity. Unless justice is made, HPM shall have no choice but to draw up a detailed report for presentation to all the relevant European and International authorities and institutions concerned with both environmental and citizens' rights. This would enable the said entities to investigate the claims being made after verifying and validating the submitted details. 

At this point, HPM would also like to draw attention to the following extracts taken from the


Right to good administration

1. Every person has the right to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a

reasonable time by the institutions and bodies of the Union.

2.1 This right includes:

the right of every person to be heard, before any individual measure which would affect him or her adversely is taken.
2.2 The obligation of the administration to give reasons for its decisions.

3. Every person has the right to have the Community make good any damage caused by its institutions or by its servants in the performance of their duties, in accordance with the general principles common to the laws of the Member States.

Article 43 Ombudsman
Any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State has the right to refer to the Ombudsman of the Union cases of maladministration in the activities of  the Community institutions or bodies, with the exception of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance acting in their judicial role.

It is not only MEPA that has a say when it comes to rural planning and conversation. The Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs have their own policies. These may be found online at the Rural Affairs website,  specifically on page 14 of a document captioned. Some relevant points have been copied here for ease of reference:

Axis 3: Measure 313
 Encouragement of Tourism Activities

Action type 3 -
The setting up of trails that interlink various sites of tourist value.

Action type 4 -
The provision, restoration or maintenance of small-scale recreational
amenities, such as leisure parks

Action type 7 -
The development of events and short-term attractions that build upon
rural heritage and contribute to the development of a rural tourism product at a local level.
This would cover the organisation and promotion of events such as festivals that promote typical alimentary specialities or traditional/folklore activities (including music & crafts), set within the cultural setting of village cores, or with a heritage venue as a backdrop, etc.

Axis 3: Measure 323
 Conservation and Upgrading of Rural Heritage

Action type 3(ii) -
Investments associated with the conservation, restoration and
upgrading of the natural and the man-made rural heritage.
Specifically, stand alone actions, implemented through a regional approach, and which do not necessarily emanate from approved conservation and management plans.
These actions shall be subject to the
fulfillment of certain criteria, to be determined at the operational level, such as the condition that they are implemented on a coherent area basis, and have a direct and apparent impact to improve the visual and intrinsic value of the rural heritage in  the area.
The type of eligible investment operations under this type of standalone actions shall include the restoration of small, man-made structures of rural heritage value, such as small chapels in valleys and other rural areas, traditionally built stone corbelled huts  (giren), bridges of historical importance in valleys, traditionally built rubble walls and water channels.

Sounds great...on paper...but reality has another face. THIS is reality:

HPM leaves it up to the general public to decide whether this permit is wholly in contravention of the several policies of the Structural Plan's section 15, namely the Conservation Section as well as the spirit behind it.

Above all HPM would like to highlight one last policy of particular interest and relation to this particular case:

No new physical development will normally be allowed on the sides of valleys and especially on valley watercourses except for constructions aimed at preventing soil erosion and the conservation and management of water resources.

This is the concluding phrase of an official news release made by MEPA on the 9th January 2009, merely one month before the DCC approved this monstrous development in one of Malta's most important sites, recognised and scheduled on an international basis.

"The Authority remains committed to implementing sustainable development principles and practices for it to pass on the natural and cultural heritage to future generations."