The Malta Independent 17 June 2024, Monday
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Gharghur residents protest against building of flats close to parish church

Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 07:16 Last update: about 4 years ago

Għargħur residents yesterday gathered at the "contentious corner" where no less than four blocks rising to 6 storeys are to be built just 70m away from Għargħur parish church and flanking the Urban Conservation Area (UCA), NGO Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar said.

The residents were addressed by Astrid Vella, Flimkien għal Ambjent Ahjar Coordinator, who stated that the UCA demarcation raises many questions, as it weaves selectively in between plots instead of including the village core in a logical manner, a result of the corruption of the Local Plans in 2006. 


This was further compounded by the raising of building heights following the DC2015 regulations which allow buildings in formerly 3-storey areas, to rise up to five storeys plus penthouse, which is ruining Malta's towns and villages. So much so, that if the application to be decided by the Planning Authority this Wednesday is approved, it will obliterate the sight of Għargħur church from the Madliena side. Vella stated that the 5-storey benchmark was a height limitation at the Planning Authority's discretion, not a divine right, even if there is a precedent in the area. 

Residents complained that too much of Għargħur has already been ruined and that the rampant construction, dust and excavation noise had to stop. Residents born in Għargħur said that increasing parking problems are causing friction which never existed before, while new residents felt cheated that they chose to live in Għargħur for its quiet village life and fresh air, but both were now being undermined by construction. Residents asked why the Local Council has not taken a stand in the interest of its residents, rather than supporting more and more construction undermining residents' health and quality of life. 

Vella referred to the Minister of Finance's declaration that Malta's economy must shift away from construction as "people are getting tired of cranes and concrete". She asked if Government is truly committed to reining in construction or whether it's just a hollow, pre-election promise, and called on the Government to prove those words by refusing the six-storey application at the Planning Authority session this Wednesday. 


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