The Malta Independent 7 December 2019, Saturday

Cottonera residents’ open letter to PM, MPs and local councils on AUM extension

Thursday, 14 November 2019, 09:58 Last update: about 22 days ago

Cottonera resident action group ‘Azzjoni: Tuna Artna Lura’, together with ‘Forum Komunita` Bormliża’, and 9 other NGOs, have reached out to key representatives in an open letter requesting support in their objection to the American University of Malta’s application for an extension of its campus.

The letter comes ahead of the Planning Authority hearing regarding the proposed AUM extension (PA 07496/16) of 21 November. Despite all board members indicating they would vote against the development in the last hearing on the basis of protecting historical heritage and open public spaces, the case officer is still recommending the development for approval. Furthermore, no new plans have yet been submitted.

Given these causes for concern, the letter demands the recipients for their “direct, immediate and public support to stop this proposed development, which is to the detriment of the well-being of the Cottonera community, and a threat to an invaluable part of Malta’s heritage.” It also reiterates the multiple reasons for its collective objection to the proposed extension.

No concrete response has been forthcoming as of yet.

‘Azzjoni: Tuna Artna Lura’ is organising a demonstration this Sunday 17 November at 11am at Macina.

The letter was sent to all District 2 Members of Parliament, namely: Hon. Joseph Muscat, Hon. Chris Agius, Hon. Glenn Bedingfield, Hon. Joe Mizzi and Hon. Stephen Spiterias well as the Bormla and Birgu Local councils, and Transport Minister Ian Borg (whose portfolio includes the Planning Authority) and Minister Owen Bonnici (whose portfolio includes the regeneration of the Cottonera).

The Senglea Local Council was not included, because it has already made clear its objection to the development and its commitment to providing transport for residents wanting to attend the hearing. The letter was also signed by Din L-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth [Malta], Futur Ambjent Wiehed, International Tree Foundation [Malta], Moviment Graffitti, The Archaeological Society Malta, The Ramblers' Association of Malta, Żminijietna - Voice of the Left.

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