Client: Private owner
Start / Finish Dates: January 2012 - March 2012
The Scheme consisted of the re-planning of an existing living space and the construction of a pool and reservoir, all within the existing footprint of a villa at Il-Kantra ta’ Mgarr ix-Xini, Sannat. A field survey was carried out on December 2011 together with an ornithological desk study.
The study concluded that noise and vibration during the construction phase would be the main potential impact. Noise can leave negative impacts on the ecology of the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) particularly on breeding birds and can also interfere in communication, the masking of sounds from predators and prey can cause ‘stress’ or avoidance of reactions and can lead to hearing damage.
The Appropriate Assessment pointed out that excavation works can leave the most adverse impacts of all and thus suggested that such works should be kept to a minimum and should be timed in order not to affect sensitive behaviour such as breeding.
The Assessment recommended mitigation measures to address the potential impacts generated by the proposed development. It was suggested that the construction phase would be kept to a minimum and that the least machinery used which should be well-maintained and have the lowest sound power levels. It was also noted that all work should be carried out during day time in order to safeguard sea birds. Works should be done during the month of November in order to leave the least impact on both sea and terrestrial birds. Low level outdoor level lighting was also recommended to avoid light pollution.
The planning permit was granted in July 2013.
Keywords: Appropriate Assessment, Birds Directive, Habitats Directive, ornithological study, Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protected Area (SPA), vegetation study