The Malta Independent 24 September 2021, Friday

Marsaskala residents tell Tourism Ministry to cancel sham ‘Design Contest’

Friday, 23 July 2021, 11:45 Last update: about 3 months ago

A group of Marsaskala residents have written to Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo, expressing their concerns about the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) Design Contest and its ‘regeneration plans.’ The letter was also sent to Prime Minister Robert Abela, (a Marsaskala resident himself) and the Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia.

The letter expresses residents’ concern that the MTA Design Contest is a cover-up for changes to Ġnien Sant’ Anna and surroundings – changes already planned by a now defunct sub-committee to further their own business interests. The people forming the sub-committee were chosen by the mayor himself, and for over two years, had been meeting and working on a variety of proposals for Marsaskala behind closed doors and in liaison with Infrastructure Malta and the MTA.

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The sub-committee was drawing plans that would serve specific economic interest in the area, further taking up public space from residents. The sub-committee was officially dissolved after it was found to be operating illegally. Residents now feel justified in their worry that the MTA Design contest was put in place to carry out these ‘regeneration proposals,’ which the sub-committee itself planned to carry out but no longer could.

The proposed ‘embellishments’ would necessitate the construction of another concrete hardstanding facility on the other side of the bay, involving land reclamation with unknown environmental consequences and further take-up of Marsaskala Bay. The sub-committe’s proposals also include redirection of traffic in and out of Marsaskala, right beneath the public school and in front of the parish church, exposing community members, particularly children and the elderly to high levels of traffic danger.

In view of all this, Marsaskala residents urge the MTA to call off this sham Design Contest, requesting instead a long period of consultation with residents of all ages and backgrounds for a holistic plan for Marsaskala.

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