The Malta Independent 16 April 2024, Tuesday
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PN says Chalet development should be part of holistic plan

Wednesday, 29 March 2023, 15:36 Last update: about 2 years ago

The concept of public domain should be endorsed and sustained in practice, not just by words, the Nationalist Party said in a statement Wednesday. It was making particular reference to the plans to develop the Chalet in Sliema, which the party said should be part of a holistic project covering the whole area.

The government is obliged to safeguard environmental sites and others of significant heritage against unsustainable development, excessive commercialisation and irreparable damage.

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Since a law in this regard was enacted in 2016, 24 sites which were supposed to have been declared of public domain, the government had allowed development that goes against such a concept. The government had allowed construction to take place and the areas to be commercialised, the PN said.

The government has also failed to present in Parliament lists of sites compiled by the Planning Authority which should have public domain status.

Instead of this, the government was presenting three sites to have their status revised by the Permanent Committee for the Environment, Climate Change and Development Planning.

With regard to the two sites in Qawra, the PN said that an assurance has been given that accessibility to the coast will remain intact, possibly improved. As a result, the PN will be supporting the change of status if areas that are so far untouched will remain so.

Conversely, the PN said it cannot agree with the development of the Chalet in Sliema unless this is accompanied by a holistic plan for the whole area.

The PN fears that, if the Chalet public domain status is changed, the whole zone will be developed to the detriment of residents, swimmers and others who use this open space. The PN agrees that the area should be rehabilitated, but given the vague policies it would not be surprised that when the Chalet loses its public domain status, the whole area will suffer from excessive development.

The government should present clear plans based on the existent development brief for public consultation before the Chalet status is altered, the PN said.

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