After all these years battling to safeguard Ta' Cenc pristine plateau, everybody knows of its national and international importance with regards to its richness in plant biodiversity and habitat, of geological and archaeological interest. This, not to mention Ta' cenc as the most important regional site for birds and its high landscape value.
Well if some Maltese tax-payer is still not aware, I will do good to remind that the Ta' Cenc issue is also currently subject to a pending infringement procedure for insufficient special protection area designation opened against Malta by the European Commission in June. The infringement procedure opened against Malta by the European Commission relates to an insufficient Special Protection Area designation for Ta' Cenc.
It is most unfair for the Maltese tax-payer to be asked to fork out money for fines due to negligence from the Maltese Authorities.
During the past days, new plans were submitted to MEPA by the developers. No you could not see these on-line from the mepa website. There was a very limited time for those concerned to go and view them at the MEPA Office. We at AD called for transparency in this issue and we said that the lack of it is 'disrespect to the citizens'. (Read HERE)
Following that, the developers held meetings with some of the environmental NGOs and the Sannat local Council.
Thank god that the people of Sannat elected an AD Councillor on their council. This way we at AD can keep you informed of the happenings whenever we can.
Whilst welcoming the meetings held by the Ta' Cenc developers with some of the main environmental NGOs and the Sannat Local Council, Alternattiva Demokratika firmly believes that information should be made more public. In particular, the Mayor of Sannat has a duty to inform all his residents of the Council's stand on the new plans. It seems that the MLP mayor opted to remain silent on this national issue. Such stand is unacceptable in this time and year considering the national and international importance of Ta' Cenc.
John Michael Mizzi, the AD Councillor in Sannat said that: "Following the meeting between the developers and the Council, the Public has a right to consider if any development of Ta' Cenc can be reconciled with the Government's policy of Gozo as an Eco-Island. It now transpires that the Hotel would be extending its building to cover the existing carpark on one side and extending to about 130metres from the cliff edge on the other. Can such a sensitive area designated as potential Natura2000 site be built so extensively?"
During a press conference held at ta' Cenc on the 13th of Sepbtember 2008, Prof. Arnold Cassola, the Green Party leader said that "Alternattiva Demokratika eagerly awaits press statements from those NGOs which attended the meetings. AD also asks that the PN and MLP to declare their stance on the Ta' Cenc Development. Politicians, especially those whose portfolio comprises the environment should not shy away from expressing an opinion. Ta' Cenc was designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) for its internationally important breeding colonies of seabirds including the Yelkouan Shearwater, the largest breeding colony of Cory's Shearwater and the only colony of European Storm-petrels outside Filfla in the Maltese Islands."