Save our Villages campaign files PA appeal against Lija development
The Lija Local Council together with an impromptu group of furious Lija residents forming the ‘Save our Villages’ campaign have filed an appeal against the Planning Authority granting development permission to build 27 flats over five floors in just over 1000m².
In a statement the campaign said, “The proposed development is in the heart of a quiet, residential Lija street bordering Balzan, characterised by lines of uniform terraced houses and right opposite a designated villa/bungalow area. The street does not have any buildings above two storeys.
The reasons for the appeal are various, the campaigners said yesterday, but in the main it is held that the permission granted is in contravention of: a) Article 72(2)(d), (e) and (f) of Chapter 552 of the Laws of Malta b) The Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED) of 2015 (Urban objectives) c) Development Control Design Policies, Guidance and Standards 2015 (DC15) d) Local Plan
The Lija Local Council said it is “…also very disappointed that it was not fully consulted on such sweeping changes to the Local Plan in 2006 – when the second draft was drafted without consultation; as well as in 2015 when no consultation with the Council was held either, and as a direct result of which the debacle of five floors opposite an officially designated villa/bungalow area was brought about.”
It points out, “The opening paragraph (1.1.1) of the Planning Authority’s own ‘Development Control Design Policies, Guidance and Standards 2015’ document eloquently sums it up and could not have put it better when it opines against this sort of ‘sore thumb’ development among homogenous streetscapes and unequivocally states that ‘low quality built fabric – a fabric that produces bland, repetitive blocks that are incompatible with the older components of the street and, in the worst cases, kill the spirit of our streets due to the negative impact that is created in visual, social and environmental terms; a fabric characterised by dead facades, blank walls that scar our townscapes, streetscapes and skylines… a fabric that does not consider the consequences it might have on the neighbouring residential amenity.’”
Photo of plot in residential neighbourhood, with montage demarcating the extent and uncharacteristic vertical extensions of the development