The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

500 object to plans for drive-in cinema on Marsascala ODZ land

Tuesday, 12 January 2021, 13:25 Last update: about 8 days ago

Some 500 people have objected to plans for a drive-in cinema on ODZ land in Marsascala, NGO Moviment Graffitti said in a statement. 

Last October, plans for a drive-in cinema on agricultural land in Marsascala were submitted to the Planning Authority. 

The land proposed to be used for the drive-in cinema would be outside the development zone of the area. Since the new year, over 500 objections have been submitted, including objections by the Marsascala local council and Movement Graffitti. 

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The plans include the removal of soil from the land to make space for 56 car spaces, including an inflatable screen. The land in question circles the existing Mamo Tower and the application proposes the demolition of critical land features around the tower such as rubble walls. 

Movement Graffitti highlighted what they called the daylight robbery which is taking place with regards to the few remaining pieces of virgin land left on the island. “The take up of farmland for a private, commercial enterprise is totally unwarranted on every level”, Movement Graffiti said. 

Their objections further highlight the damage which would be done to the historic Mamo Tower and St. Gaetano church, which could pose a threat to their preservation.

The increase in light pollution, environmental degradation, soil erosion and noise pollution are other issues which Movement Graffitti have put forward. These factors all contribute to the impact such a plan would have on the surrounding areas. 

If such a plan is approved, Movement Graffitti believe that this will set a precedent which will lead to other similar ideas to following suit. 

Movement Graffitti also said that it believes that the idea for a drive-in cinema was sparked from the need of socially distanced events across the island. They said that once the pandemic is over, the need for the drive-in cinema will diminish and momentum will be hard to pick up again. 

This would mean that after irreversible damage would be done to the agricultural landscape, the land would then be abandoned, they said. 

In a final comment, Movement Graffitti have urged the Planning Authority to listen to more than 500 people who have objected this development.

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