Cabinet approves two documents: Gozo Regional Development Strategy and Hondoq local plan changes

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 August, 2023 at 8:03 pm by Andre Camilleri

Prime Minister Robert Abela has announced that Cabinet has approved two documents related to Gozo, both of which will be duly released for public consultation: a new regional development strategy and proposed changes to protect Hondoq ir-Rummien.

Abela said that Cabinet approved the Gozo Regional Development Strategy document, which forms part of the government’s vision for the island for the next 10 years.

He said that the document was drafted together with the Gozitan community, NGOs and other stakeholders.

“The basis of the strategy is Gozo as an island of villages, villages with their distinct identities and specific characteristics. A Gozo which attracts quality work on the island, for Gozitans,” Abela said.

He continued that in these past years, the island has made many steps forward, and now government wants to continue to build on that and consolidate on those important developments.

“A Gozo with more open spaces, a Gozo where we protect the countryside, a Gozo with strong connectivity. Gozo as an island of opportunities,” Abela said.

Cabinet has also approved a second important document for Gozo, which will be open for public consultation. This document will see a change in the local plans to ensure that Hondoq ir-Rummien remains untouched by development.

“We made a clear decision that we do not want any kind of further development in Hondoq, and I invite the public to make its submissions to ensure that Hondoq is not touched by development,” Abela said.

Earlier this month, an appeals court judgment rejected an appeal filed by a developer to overturn the Planning Authority’s refusal to grant a permit to develop a “yacht marina and tourist village” at Hondoq ir-Rummien in Gozo.

Qala Mayor Paul Buttigieg has welcomed the final decision after two decades of spearheading all opposition to the project and said that the next step was to expropriate the area to turn it into a national park.

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