News | Sunday, 23 August 2009
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Mushroom farm developers say Gozo residents are used to “rural odours”

A proposed mushroom factory earmarked for an outside development site near the five-star Kempinski San Lawrenz resort has attracted concern from MEPA’s natural heritage panel.
The panel said that the factory could produce offensive odours in the vicinity of Gozo’s crafts village and the holiday resort, despite the mitigation measures being proposed by the developers.
But the developers of the farm have claimed in an environmental planning statement that residents of San Lawrenz are used to “rural odours” since manure is used to fertilise the surrounding fields.
The panel stressed that “the risks of emission of offensive odours remain, especially while the fresh manure is being transported to the farm.”
The panel added that the odours could negatively affect the Ta’ Dbiegi crafts village and other residential units in the area. “The total elimination of these risks is well-nigh impossible,” the panel stated.
The farm developers have presented an Environment Planning Statement in which experts have replied to concerns voiced by the Gharb local council. “One can imagine the unbearable smell the chicken manure would have on the area including the Crafts Village, the residential area as well as the Kempinski 5-star resort which are a stone throw away,” the council said.
But the developers’ experts contend that the risk of odours will be minimal, because the transport of chicken manure will take place in closed trucks and will be stored in an enclosed and aerated rooms. They also argue that the aeration will minimise the anaerobic fermentation, which causes odours.
While the EPS says the scheme will not impact the landscape, the natural heritage panel expressed its concern on the loss of high quality agricultural land.

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