The environmental watchdog, the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) has officially filed an appeal against the controversial extension of a restaurant in Dwejra, Gozo, with the hope of revoking the project which would threaten the ecology of the UNESCO area.
In the official appeal, the organisation stated that the approval of the extension would lead to “more light and noise in the area that are detrimental to wildlife.”
Most notably, ERA stated that the development of the site would result in there being significant damage to the seabird breeds of Scopoli’s Shearwater and Yelkouan Shearwater, known to be extremely sensitive to light and sound.
Crowdfunding last week raising €3,000 for legal action to take place against the development of such an extension erupted in news headlines, with 15 NGOs appealing to the court to overturn the development.
ERA stated on Wednesday that it believed that the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal had misinterpreted or failed to apply the Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED), a plan which strives to protect biodiversity, cultural heritage, geology, as well as geomorphology, all by trying to safeguard the protected areas as well as possible.
ERA also added that the tribunal did not recognise the significant “problems arising from the intensification and expansion of development at Dwejra”.
The site is also a Special Protection Area (SPA), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), as well as a part of the Natura 2000 network.