The Malta Independent 21 April 2019, Sunday

PD says applications that violate policy regularly approved; calls for protection of heritage

Friday, 6 October 2017, 10:33 Last update: about 3 years ago

Partit Demokratiku has called for the Planning Authority to adhere to its own policies, and protect Maltese heritage.

"The fate of one of the few remaining vernacular townhouses in Sliema, at 33 Cathedral Street, is to be decided on the 26th of October. This townhouse, commissioned by the Mdina Cathedral between 1870 and 1886 for clergymen, lies in the Urban Conservation Area of Sliema. Its destruction would set a precedent for neighbouring buildings of cultural and heritage value to Malta and negatively affect the quality of life of residents."


Applications are regularly approved which violate policy, the PD said, "demonstrating the need to combat corruption and reinforce Malta's weakening institutions. Partit Demokratiku highlights that the demolition of this building is part of this trend, and would contradict the North Harbour Local Plan which limits the development height to two floors. The proposed development also violates SPED Urban Objective 2 as well as additional regulations which dictate that gardens and their mature trees be protected, when the proposal would destroy them instead."

Partit Demokratiku called for policy to be upheld and that institutions be strengthened against abuse. "The need for a National Masterplan must be reiterated. A National Masterplan is needed as a response to cowboy overdevelopment which negatively affects the quality of life of the Maltese people, and trades away our identity and national pride for short term gain."

Partit Demokratiku highlighted that "this short term economic gain overlooks long-term economic damage, and challenges the MDA to release its report on the possibility of a property bubble to the general public. The sacrifice of Maltese heritage is a loss not only for our culture but may have long term economic consequences, such as for our tourism market."

Partit Demokratiku repeats the need for a National Masterplan and until then, calls for good governance via the upholding of existing policies. "Strong and transparent institutions are necessary to ensure the protection of the vernacular townhouse on Cathedral Street and for there to be a future for our priceless heritage."




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