Times of Malta, 17th May 2008 – The Malta Environment and Planning Authority has amended the scheduling boundary to include the full extent of Ħarq Ħammiem Valley and the correct location and extent of the underground cave system.

The amendment is designed to safeguard the natural heritage and the biodiversity in the underground cave.

The valley and cave lying between the periphery of Pembroke and St Julians were originally scheduled by Mepa in 1996.

The authority has chosen to revise the original scheduling boundary to include the entire valley and a 30-metre constraint zone around the location of the cave.

The 30-metre zone is intended to ensure that any application for development permission that includes excavation works is accompanied by an appropriate study to safeguard the stability and integrity of the cave.

A buffer zone is also being established to safeguard the importance and integrity of the entire valley.

A site plan showing the various levels of protection can be viewed at www.mepa.org.mt.