The Malta Independent 13 November 2018, Tuesday

PD says cultural heritage watchdog not functioning properly due to great backlog

Sunday, 21 October 2018, 13:53 Last update: about 22 days ago

Partit Demokratiku said on Sunday that the email account of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage “is receiving so many emails that their inbox is overloaded and therefore emails sent to it are being rejected.”

This state of affairs is mirrored in the fact there is a great backlog in the Planning Authority to decide on the level of protection for historical properties, via Scheduling, the party said.

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“Often, before the level of protection can be decided on for a building, it is destroyed. The Tigne Officers' Mess has been in the pipeline for such protection, which if received, would prevent a planned highrise being built in its place. What does the Superintendence think of this situation?”

PD said that, between the 2014 Budget and 2018, the money allocated to the Superintendence for employees has risen from €350,000 to €600,000, and 16 people are currently employed there. It is evident that this is not enough. The Planning Authority may suffer similar restrictions in its ability to Schedule buildings on time.

Partit Demokratiku called for an urgent prioritisation and focus on bettering the state of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, so that it may keep up with the tremendous demands being placed upon it during this overdevelopment frenzy.

“Partit Demokratiku wishes to remind the general public that it had presented a Private Member’s Bill in August 2017 calling on Parliament to have a National Masterplan. If this had been implemented, such destruction of our natural and urban heritage, and the uglification of the island would have lessened, if not stopped outright. Partit Demokratiku, as a party in Opposition, stands as guardian and keeper of a healthy environment, and will continue to work tirelessly to improve the state of affairs on our beloved island.”

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