The Malta Independent 20 October 2017, Friday

Townsquare developers meet Sliema association 'to clarify misconceptions'

Friday, 13 October 2017, 11:01 Last update: about 7 days ago

The developers behind the €100 million Townsquare project in Sliema havemet with the Qui-si-Sana and Tigné residents associations to brief them on mitigation measures being deployed at the site to minimise inconvenience as part of an ongoing commitment to maintain an open line of communication with the community, the developers said in a statement.

During the meeting, which follows a constructive briefing session with the Sliema Mayor, the developers also clarified certain misconceptions about the project that have appeared in the media.

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Excavation work at the site started in recent days, following the Planning Authority’s approval of the developers’ Construction Management Plan.

The developers informed the associations that they have selected contractors who are using machinery specifically designed to minimise disturbances rather than noisy pneumatic hammers.

The developers also reassured the associations that, contrary to some reports, more than7,000 square metres of the 12,000-metre plot will be dedicated to landscaped open spaces – as promised – for use by the public.

“The open spaces are dictated by PA permit and these have neither shrunk nor increased,” a spokesman for the developers said.

Townsquare also explained that proceeding with the excavation process in no way prejudices an appeal by objectors against the Planning Authority’s decision to award a permit for a high-rise tower – and stating that the objectors’ appealwould be concluded by November was pure conjecture, since the timeframe could be further extended for another six months or even longer if the matter goes to court.

“We have been granted an executable permit and none of the objectors requested a suspension of this permit when they had a clear and legal opportunity to do so. Therefore, there is no way that starting excavation now impedes a fair hearing.

“We are very conscious of our responsibility as members of the Sliema community and welcome open dialogue. We hope, however, that that dialogue takes place on the basis of facts.”

As part of the developers’ commitment to residents, Townsquare has set up a Project Office in Tigné Street, as well as a helpline for residents on 27896034 or 21331560, and intends to pursue community initiatives once the development is underway.

Townsquare Sliema is a high-end development comprising residences, retail outlets, and leisure facilities around an open space, which will be accessible to the public.

The site, owned by the developers for over six decades, is currently vacant other than the dilapidated Villa Drago, which will be restored to its former glory and take pride of place. The site has formed part of the Building Scheme since 1991 and was earmarked for development in the 2006 Local Plan.

The project will also create around 750 underground car spaces, significantly increasing parking facilities in the area. 

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