Gov­ern­ment needs to go back to draw­ing board on Paceville master plan – Marthese Portelli

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Ju­lian Bon­nici

“The Paceville Master Plan should go back to the draw­ing board in or­der to safe­guard the in­ter­ests of res­i­dents and small busi­nesses,” Shadow Minister for the En­vi­ron­ment, En­ergy and Trans­port Marthese Portelli said this morn­ing at a press con­fer­ence at the PN head­quar­ters.

She stressed that the Na­tion­al­ist Party agrees that a master plan for the area should be drawn up but the project should ben­e­fit the many in­stead of the few. She spoke about the pro­posed con­struc­tion of var­i­ous new roads which cut di­rectly through a num­ber of res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties as ev­i­dence that the in­ter­ests and rights of res­i­dents are not be­ing taken into con­sid­er­a­tion by the project.

The master plan should also look af­ter the in­ter­ests of the busi­nesses which al­ready op­er­ate in Paceville, Dr Portelli said. Ac­cord­ing to the shadow minister, the project cur­rently pro­poses that a num­ber of shops and small busi­nesses will have to re­lo­cate or shut down all to­gether, leav­ing a num­ber of peo­ple un­cer­tain about their fu­ture.

This is why, she claimed, the master plan has raised nu­mer­ous ques­tions with­out giv­ing any answers.

Next on the agenda was the is­sue sur­round­ing the pro­posed recla­ma­tion of land. This, she said, should not take place as there is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the recla­ma­tion of marine land, since it would only cause greater dam­age to the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment and the in­ter­ests of its res­i­dents.

The shadow minister also in­sisted that the public needed to be as­sured that the fore­shore would re­main in the public do­main and should re­main ac­ces­si­ble to every­one and not ob­structed in any way.

Dr Portelli went on to say that the pop­u­la­tion needed to be as­sured that the master plan will in­clude in­fras­truc­tural plans which would tackle is­sues sur­round­ing public trans­port, traf­fic, and park­ing in the area, while also pro­vid­ing a suf­fi­cient waste man­age­ment and drainage sys­tem re­flec­tive of in­creases to the area’s pop­u­la­tion den­sity.

The PN also called for the in­clu­sion of the var­i­ous local coun­cils in the sur­round­ing ar­eas of Paceville in dis­cus­sions since lo­cal­i­ties such as Swieqi would also be af­fected by the in­fras­truc­tural is­sues which the master plan would cre­ate.

Dr Portelli then said that the master plan should also be drawn up around the area’s car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity in­stead of in a reck­less man­ner.

The shadow minister, along with Ryan Cal­lus, also called out the con­flict of in­ter­est sur­round­ing Mott MacDon­ald, the in­ter­na­tional firm tasked with de­sign­ing the master plan, which has also worked with one of the largest pro­posed de­vel­op­ments in the area.

This was in fact the sec­ond in­stance of a con­flict of in­ter­est, Mr Cal­lus said, since the same con­sul­tancy firm is also in­volved in the land recla­ma­tion pro­posed for Por­tomaso.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.