The Malta Independent 5 March 2024, Tuesday
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MDA praises Gozo Stone Facade policy, but says other materials should be allowed in some localities

Sunday, 11 February 2024, 14:27 Last update: about 22 days ago

The Malta Development Association (MDA) on Sunday commended the recent decision by the Ministry for Gozo and Planning to introduce a pioneering planning policy requiring stone facades for new buildings in Gozo.

Spearheaded by Clint Camilleri, Minister for Gozo, the MDA said that this initiative must be one part of a wider holistic vision for the sustainable development and cultural preservation of the island.

“As MDA we are dedicated to promoting sustainable development and responsible urban planning, and the MDA recognizes the importance of aligning individual policies with a broader government strategy for regional development,” the association said in a statement.

“The imposition of stone facades in new buildings, as part of the government's vision for Gozo, demonstrates a comprehensive approach to preserving the island's architectural heritage while fostering economic growth and benefiting the community,” it continued.

The MDA said that by integrating this policy within the larger framework of the government's vision for Gozo, stakeholders can work collaboratively to ensure that development initiatives are guided by principles of sustainability, cultural conservation and quality of life.

“That being said, in order for this policy to have the intended and desired effect, prior to implementation, discussions and solutions must be found in regards the supply of material and most importantly the opening of courses in order to have skilled builders for the proper construction method of Maltese stone which today are a rarity,” the MDA said.

The MDA said that while the introduction of stone facades is a significant step towards preserving Gozo's architectural identity, “it's essential to recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach may not always be suitable.”

“Therefore, the measure should allow a degree of flexibility to permit the proposal of facades with other materials in select localities, which would still be visually and aesthetically pleasing as long as they respect the context of the surroundings. This approach can ensure that while preserving tradition, the island can also embrace innovation and contemporary design, enhancing its appeal to residents and visitors alike,” the MDA said.

The MDA also called on other entities and stakeholders in other sectors to contribute in their own right towards the great objective visualised by the Prime Minister and Ministers for Gozo.

In conclusion, the MDA applauded Minister Clint Camilleri and the Ministry for Gozo and Planning for their leadership in advancing a holistic vision for the future of Gozo.

“We stand ready to support and collaborate on initiatives that promote sustainable development, cultural preservation, and inclusive growth in line with the government's overarching goals for the island,” it said.

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