The Malta Independent 26 May 2019, Sunday

Gzira residents form pressure group Inhobbu l-Gzira

Thursday, 3 January 2019, 12:23 Last update: about 6 months ago

A pressure group named Inhobbu l-Gzira has been formed with the principal aim of “bringing modifications to the proposed Midi masterplan for Manoel Island".

A decision on proposed amendments to the Manoel Island master plan was deferred by the Planning Authority last month due to a lack of adequate documentation presented, with concerns about a lack of photo montages comparing the proposed amendments with the already approved plan.  Furthermore, the board asked that documents which were found to not have been made available to the public to be uploaded for public viewing.

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The newly-formed group said in a statement that the plan in its current form requires the transformation of a large part of the seaside promenade into an access road or bridge to Manoel Island, pointing out that the promenade is very popular, particularly in Summer.

“A large part of Gzira promenade is proposed for elimination. Forty percent of the public benches will be lost.”

It also criticized the loss of the Valletta skyline, the bastions, views of Pieta and Ta’ Xbiex due to two apartment blocks that are planned to be built on reclaimed land right opposite Triq ix-Xatt, that are said to rise to 29.75m.

They quoted the European convention in saying that landscapes and views were particularly recognized as important, something which they say has been “ignored with the blessing of the Environment Resources Authority in a biased and unrepresentative report”.

“The town does not have any squares or open spaces for people to enjoy except the seafront. Open spaces are recognized by law as essential for the well-being of residents.”

“The group Inhobbu l-Gzira is proposing modifications to the plan to preserve the popular promenade and the views.”

 

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