The Malta Independent 18 July 2024, Thursday
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ENGOs gearing up to appeal against permit for 22 apartments near Ggantija - FAA

Saturday, 11 November 2023, 09:45 Last update: about 9 months ago

The eNGOs who have been challenging the building of a block of 22 flats on the site of an ancient farmhouse close to the Ġgantija World Heritage Site, are now gearing up to fight the permit which was issued by the Planning Authority last Thursday, Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar has said.

The NGO said that the application "will eventually destroy the temples' setting, and set a precedent for more construction in the area, engulfing the temples in blocks of apartments."

Speaking for Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar which is leading the campaign, Astrid Vella stated that the PA hearing "was a farce and a sham".

"After listening to the developer and the Case Officer, the PA Board made it clear that they had little inclination to hear out the objectors. While stating their position, the objectors were interrupted several times, before finally the eNGO representatives' microphones were blocked when they tried to set right the false claims being made'" she said.

In a statement, FAA said that the PA Board was reminded that the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage had somehow completely dropped its original strong veto of the development, then communicated that UNESCO had insisted that according to its World Heritage Site guidelines, a Heritage Impact Assessment had to be carried out for this development. "Still, Oliver Magro, PA Chairman, insisted that since this requirement did not exist in Maltese planning law it could be ignored. The Board then proceeded to vote unanimously in favour of the development with the exception of Romano Cassar, the NGO representative, who voted against."

FAA said that launching an appeal against the permit is essential, "as following the approval of this permit, plans are already under way for a development even closer to Ġgantija, appealing is an expensive process that needs the backing of all people who care for Malta and its unique heritage." The NGO launched an appeal to the public to donate to "protect Gganitja's unique heritage here:"

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