Extension to an existing dairy farm

Date : 2005

This planning application was drawn up for sanctioning an extension to an existing cowshed at Qasam San Ġorġ, Kerċem, Gozo. A declaration by the architect for the development stated that the farm had been in operation for some decades.

The site area of the entire dairy farm, one of the largest units on the Maltese archipelago, was circa 4,300m², while the area proposed for sanctioning measured 2,300m². Given that the application was for the sanctioning of an already operating dairy farm, no issues relating to site preparation and construction works were present.

Agriculture was the predominant land use feature of the study area within 500m radius of the said development, and had been the main land use element for the past decades. Land abandonment was minor and fields were accessible to agricultural machinery. The use of irrigation practices was noted. The significant commercial activity in the area was animal husbandry, mainly dairy farming, albeit no planning permission had been granted for the setting up of livestock units within the study area. Human settlements constructed in recent years occurred along the southern fringe of the study area.

The proposed sanctioning of the existing cowsheds lay well within the Mean Sea Level Aquifer protection zone. The significance of the location of the farm, in terms of groundwater protection, had long been noted, as can be inferred from the various applications on site. Odours associated with livestock operations are often due to malodorous gases produced from anaerobic decomposition of organic matter such as manure.

Current dairy production falls short of the local demand for dairy produce, and hence an increase in local production should contribute to a reduction in expenditures on importation.

Click here to download the Environmental Planning Statement.