The Malta Independent 4 December 2023, Monday
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Why is it taking so long to revise local plan, Marsascala residents say

Tuesday, 3 October 2023, 14:32 Last update: about 2 months ago

Marsascala residents have expressed their concern as to why it is taking so long for the government to revise the plan for their locality, saying they cannot rest unless there is legal assurance.

In a statement, the Marsascala Residents Netwrok said that following two decades of wrangling over the fate of Ħondoq ir-Rummien, Malta received the news that development plans for the area were put to rest for good. This is a rare, and much needed, respite from the overdevelopment onslaught afflicting our islands.


Following the successful campaign against the Yacht Marina in 2021 and 2022, the Marsaskala Residents’ Network (MRN) has taken this as an encouraging sign that a similar measure could be assured for Marsaskala. Though, repeatedly, Marsaskala residents have been "reassured" that the yacht marina will not be built, they know full well that such plans on the Local Plan still exist.

MRN therefore sent an email with an attached letter to the Prime Minister on 22 August this summer, requesting a change in the Local Plan to safeguard the future of the bay. In the reply received, the Prime Minster assured them that the yacht marina is a type of project that can only proceed following the issue of a call from a government entity, and "reassured" them that they do not intend to proceed with such a call again.

But, the MRS pointed out, this statement is hardly reassuring. MRN said it realised that there seems to be a non-committal stance regarding the yacht marina. Given Malta’s recent history, MRN can hardly rest on the ‘goodwill’ and ‘peace of mind’ being offered by the Prime Minister in his reply, knowing full well that future events could well reverse such a stance. Questions are rightly being raised as to why it is taking so long to revise the local plans in Marsaskala to reflect the ‘reassurance’ being offered above. Without legal reassurance, offered by a removal of said yacht marina from local plans for Marsaskala, MRN will not rest easy.

MRN is therefore asking the Prime Minister directly – what is there to be afraid of? Why the hesitation, and why the delay? It has been over 16 months since the Prime Minister heeded the call of residents of Marsaskala and decided to scrap the plans for a marina. How much longer must they wait, and what is there to be afraid of? If one is afraid of a precedent – there is one in Ħondoq. Additionally, MRN  hopes that this is one of many in the coming years, given Malta’s desperate situation with overdevelopment. The organisation strongly believes that what belongs to the public must remain squarely for the public good and not be given to private interests, thus maintaining community health and wellbeing for current and future generations.

MRN therefore said it looked forward to a positive outcome from this exercise, and expects the Local Plans to be modified for Marsaskala to reflect the present reality. 2006 is almost two decades ago, and the world and Malta, and their priorities, have changed. As a nation increasingly affected by threats to their environment and wellbeing, we deserve better than a half-hearted and noncommital response. As MRN we will insist on a legally-binding commitment until results are achieved.

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