Date:       31 August 2021
To:            The CEO, Gozo Regional Development Authority

Dear Mr. Borg:

On behalf of Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex (DLĦGħ),  I am pleased to send you our comments and feedback on what we hope will be a groundbreaking document issued by the Gozo Regional Development Authority.

We note, with hope, the key goal in the GRDA's mission statement is to ensure 'sustainable development'.  This is the goal everyone should strive towards, although we acknowledge that sustainable development may be interpreted in different ways.  We believe two areas where we can all agree is that at present Gozo is not currently on a path that will lead to sustainable development - and time is of the essence if this goal is to be attained.

We believe that the heart of the GRDA is in the right place and that the call to action will be answered. In this respect we trust that you will find this feedback from DLĦGħ to be of value and would like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the following three key priority goals taken from our mission statement.  The implementation of these priority recommendations would give our island the breathing space needed until the GRDA and the relevant government stakeholders can develop a longer term strategy, policies and plans for Gozo leading to true sustainability.

 DLĦGħ believes that without immediate positive action the island will be lost forever and is calling on Government and the Planning Authority to implement, with immediate effect, these three core recommendations to give the island of Gozo breathing space until the present Planning policies and guidelines are reviewed and strengthened in liaison with relevant stakeholders, NGOs and the public. 
  1. A twelve-month moratorium period on all ODZ development applications for residential and industrial use, with some exceptions for genuine agricultural applications up to 12 square metres.
  2. A twelve-month extension of the current UCA boundaries by 250 metres to create a new buffer zone enjoying the same level of protection as UCA until new guidelines can be approved.
  3. A twelve-month suspension of DC2015 Annex 2 regulations for the island of Gozo.
 With kind regards

Godfrey Swain 

obo Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex
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