Change local plans to protect Ħondoq ir-Rummien as suggested by Qala mayor. It is useful to put this proposal in context: • The Gozo local plan policy allows a hotel and a marina, but NOT residential. The site value that was quoted recently in the media is based on extensive residential development and therefore it is completely off the mark. The land value of the site is much less, especially considering the cost of building a marina along an exposed coastline. • Contrary to what has been reported in a recent news reports, the site is NOT within scheme. It is an Outside Development Zone site for which the local plan provides for a specific policy. To change that policy therefore there is no need to go to Parliament. • On ODZ sites, residential is not allowed (except as provided for in the Rural policy). • To change a local plan policy, the PA and the relevant ministry would have to go through a process, as set out in the legislation. It is fairly straightforward although it would require some time to go through. The process includes public consultation. • It is not true that the owners would be eligible for compensation if a local plan policy is changed. Compensation is due ONLY if a permit is withdrawn by the PA, which is not the case here. Some of the above interpretation is a bit technical but I think people should be aware of it when discussing the way forward.
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