The area delisted by government consists of the intersection between the quarry which is marked in red and the scheduled zone marked in blue The government has agreed to de-list a property located near the coastal cliffs in Dingli from the list of Areas of High Landscape Value and from the list of buffer zones to areas of ecological importance.
The decision signed by parliamentary secretary Michael Falzon will seal the fate of a twice-rejected quarry extension on a site located in Ta' Demjrek in Siggiewi near the coastal cliffs in Dingli.
In 2008, the Malta Environment and Planning Authority had rejected an application for the extension of the quarry presented by Julian Vella. The applicant also wanted to increase the depth of rock extraction from the current 10 metres to 35 metres.
Following this refusal the applicant applied for a reconsideration of this decision, which is still under MEPA's consideration.
MEPA had already refused an extension of the quarry over the scheduled site in 1998 and MEPA's Appeal's tribunal had confirmed this decision.
The applicant's architect had claimed that the surface of the quarry – including the part which had been scheduled – had been legally excavated through a permit dating back to the early 1990s. An enforcement order stopping the owner from operating on the site was issued after the site was scheduled in 1996.
The case officer report confirms that the area is covered by a police licence issued in 1992, but after the area was scheduled in June 1996 the owners where advised to stop works in the protected area.
The quarry site is situated near the coastal cliffs at Dingli and forms part of another four licensed hardstone quarries at Ta' Zuta, adjacent to each other. The original licensed boundary was larger and included the northern part of the quarry.
However, in 1995 the boundary was revised in view of the scheduling of the coastal cliffs.
Mepa will tomorrow consider an appeal for a permit for a batching plant located in another part of the same quarry on land which has not been impacted by the descheduling approved by the government.
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