Malta Independent on Sunday, 4 October 2009

The opponents of the once-proposed Ulysses Lodge development overlooking Gozo’s Ramla Bay feel they have won a major battle, but the outcome of the war is still to be determined.

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority’s board of appeal on Friday rejected, in finality, an appeal lodged by the developers against the DCC board’s rejection of their original full development application. An appeal against the negative ruling for the project’s outline development, however, is still pending.

The full development permit was revoked on the basis of a detailed report submitted by architect Lino Bianco on behalf of the Save Ramla Group, spearheaded by Xaghra local councillor Carmen Bajada.

Contacted yesterday, Mrs Bajada commented how, at the beginning of the process, many had been sceptical about the possibility of a handful of people being able to halt a commercial project of such enormity, and expressed her wish that others will find courage to do so after the Ulysses Lodge experience.

But with the outline development still pending, she warned there was still a chance the development could see the light of day.

The state of affairs has been ongoing for almost two years, since the developers’ appeal was lodged back in December 2007. Mepa had first approved the development in June 2007, only to have dismissed the application in October 2007 after an appeal by a third party was upheld on account of an undeclared public road cutting through the middle of the property in question.