The Malta Independent 14 April 2021, Wednesday

610 Xgħajra residents sign letter against high-rise development on the locality’s seafront

Wednesday, 7 April 2021, 07:46 Last update: about 6 days ago

A stunning 610 Xgħajra residents and property owners have signed a letter to the Planning Authority declaring their unequivocal opposition to the proposed three high-rise towers on the Xgħajra seafront, NGO Moviment Graffitti said. The letter was supported by a further 204 individuals.

Residents felt they were compelled to send this letter after the Xgħajra Local Council, led by Mayor Neil Attard, performed an incomprehensible U-turn behind the residents’ back and withdrew the council’s previous objection to the project via a letter "secretly submitted" to the Planning Authority, the NGO said. Whilst a majority of council members had backed this bizarre decision, two council members, including the vice-mayor, have now signed the letter of objection prepared and submitted by Xgħajra residents.

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The residents’ submission lists the numerous concerns related to this project’s impact on Xgħajra and beyond. A development consisting of three towers of 15 storeys each most clearly jars with the context of this quiet, sea-side village. This development would also see the building of hundreds of new residential apartments, leading to an overnight unsustainable increase in the population of the locality as well as pressures that the current infrastructure cannot handle. Developers’ promises of a “plaza” next to the towers are meaningless for a locality that already enjoys ample open spaces and spaces of natural beauty. Moreover, the justification of this project in terms of the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) policy is highly dubious since the proposed high-rise seems to breach multiple provisions of the FAR policy.

The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage (SCH) have already expressed their unfavourable view of this development, the NGO said.

The residents concluded their letter by appealing to the authorities and the developers to ensure that any development in the area respects the people of Xgħajra and its natural and built environment. Moviment Graffitti and Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar are supporting the residents’ demands.

 

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