The Malta Independent 24 March 2019, Sunday

‘Paceville master plan should be scrapped immediately’ – NGOs, residents against project

Julian Bonnici Monday, 7 November 2016, 19:32 Last update: about 3 years ago

Residents of Paceville and surrounding areas, business owners and activists gathered outside Le Meridien hotel in St Julian's this evening to voice their concerns regarding the Paceville master plan before a public consultation with the Planning Authority on the project.

The group immediately made it clear that they were calling for the master plan to be scrapped in its entirety. They welcome the idea but, in its current form, the plan is structurally flawed for a number of reasons.

A spokesperson for Kamp Emergenza Ambjent said that Mott MacDonald's grilling in front of a parliamentary committee revealed a number of disconcerting issues.

Firstly, the master plan displaces a number of residents and small businesses through the reclamation of land to construct avenues and benefit developers the likes of which had not been seen since "the totalitarian dictatorship of Mussolini" as a resident said.


Everyone expressed concern that the planners did not consult with the public at a design stage, proving that the project seeks to benefit the few rather than the many, according to the spokesperson. She pointed towards Mott Macdonald's statement that the masterplan had been developed on the basis of the "aspirations of sites" as proof that the excericse was built to benefit the developers instead of the needs of the community and the environment. She went on to say that "only nine people would benefit from the project".

This, it was claimed, could kick off an ugly precedent were master plans which expropriate private land without public consultation would extend to the whole island.

A spokesperson for Moviment Graffiti said that the project was extremely frightening since it proposed the construction of skyscrapers in an area which could not support it, whilst also completely ignoring the public and businesses interests.

The environmental concerns surrounding the project were also top of the agenda, with a spokesperson for Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar saying that Mott Macdonald had not even been aware of the legislation concerning the foreshore, which is considered public domain and ODZ land. While the move is illegal, she stressed that such a drastic change to the sea bed which will be brought around by the land reclamation would cause severe and irreperable damage to the surrounding marine environment.

Astrid Vella, who was also present, spoke of the illegalities taking place in the project, saying this was the first and foremost reason why this project could not begin.

It was also announced that a protest will be taking place at 10:30am on Saturday 12th November in front of the LOVE sign in Spignola Bay, St Julian's.

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