The Malta Independent 22 January 2022, Saturday

Proposed dormitory ‘too big for AUM’s dozen students,’ MP Glenn Bedingfield says

Neil Camilleri Thursday, 8 August 2019, 11:09 Last update: about 3 years ago

Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield has come out against plans for a proposed dormitory as part of the AUM campus in Cospicua, saying that existing buildings are enough for the fledgling university’s “dozen students.”

A number of applications have been filed by AUM, including for the restoration and extension of what is called the Knights building on the waterfront. Another proposal is for the construction of an administrative building between the Knights building and the British building.

The Planning Directorate has recommended approval for these two projects but has come out against the proposed dormitory, which is proposed to be built in an area currently used as a parking lot close to Senglea Gate.  

The proposed dormitory building near Senglea Gate


The directorate commented on the height of the building, which would be close to 20 metres, and the affect that such a development would have on Senglea’s skyline.

The applications are set to be decided by the Planning Authority board on 12 September.

In a tweet, Bedingfield said building on all open spaces around Dock 1 “doesn’t make sense.”

The proposed extension to the Knights Building


The MP had been one of the leading voices in favour of the project and had argued that it would lead to the regeneration of the area. The project, which was initially envisaged to attract some 4,000 students, would also be beneficial to businesses in the surrounding localities, it had been argued.

But the MP now seems to have taken a more critical stance, even taking a dig at AUM’s low enrolment rate. “For a dozen students, this building adjacent to the existing ones is too big. Existing buildings are more than enough for AUM,” he said.

Bedingfield added that the beautiful St Michael’s Bastion entrance to Isla will be hidden behind the proposed dormitory.

Last week, he urged the authorities to listen to what the residents of Senglea and Cospicua are saying and to consider alternative sites for the dorm building. These, he said, could include he ‘Fortizza tas-Salvatur’ in Kalkara or the ‘Palazz tal-Kaptan tal-Galjuni’ at the Birgu waterfront. His suggestion was endorsed by heritage NGO Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar.  

Besides the prime piece of real estate on Cospicua’s Dock 1, AUM have also been given a large piece of virgin land in Zonqor, Marsascala. The government has insisted that the land will not be used if AUM does not manage to attract enough students.

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