The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
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NGOs object to ‘totally unacceptable’ eight-storey Qajjenza application

Tuesday, 2 April 2024, 12:49 Last update: about 16 days ago

The non-governmental organisations ‘Għaqda Storja u Kultura Birżebbuġa’ and ‘Marsaxlokk Heritage’ have published a shared statement to collectively object the proposed zoning application that was submitted by a private developer in Qajjenza, Birzebbugia, and would allow developments of up to eight storeys.

The two NGOs said that this zoning application for six blocks of apartments is currently being evaluated by the Planning Authority. The site marked for this application consists of the area formerly used for the Qajjenza Enemalta gas-filling plant.

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The organisations stated that “such an action is totally unacceptable in a developed democratic country” for multiple reasons. Amongst which, the NGOs said that this application was submitted by a private developer on a site that mostly consists of public land; the application proposes altering “the zoning of the site and the establishment of building heights within the rationalisation site”; and that “The aspects of social and common good are to be given a clear priority over greediness and personal gain. They are requesting for this site to be used explicitly for “public intentions.”

Concern was also raised for the residents of Qajjenza. The organisations acknowledged that over the years that this site was used by Enemalta, the estimated 5,000 locals of this area lived through constant inconveniences, such as continued noise and gas odours as the site was “exhausted from all aspects.” Within this densely populated area, there is not a single open public space.

They also stated that the proposed development, if it comes to life, “will drastically change the character of the area.” The NGOs wrote that it would cause “various infrastructural issues” ranging from parking to traffic to additional stress on present utility services.

The current maximum height for a development in Qajjenza, Birzebbugia is three storeys high. Additionally, the organisations said that should this development be carried out, residents “will be doomed to live under the shade of eight-floor blocks as compensation.”

Both ‘Għaqda Storja u Kultura Birżebbuġa’ and ‘Marsaxlokk Heritage’ are urging for the Government, and specifically, the Ministry for Environment, Energy and Enterprise, to declare that this site in Qajjenza will only be used for public reasons, thus falling in line with the government's aim in acquiring “the last portion of private land” earlier this January

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