PA re­ceives a stag­ger­ing 177 ap­pli­ca­tions for devel­op­ment in Sliema in a pe­riod of three weeks

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

The Plan­ning Au­thor­ity has re­ceived a stag­ger­ing 177 ap­pli­ca­tions for devel­op­ment in Sliema over a pe­riod of three weeks.

An anal­y­sis car­ried out by PN Lo­cal Coun­cil­lor Paul Rad­milli, shows that over the pe­riod from 7 Oc­to­ber to 31 Oc­to­ber, PA re­ceived 177 devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions re­gard­ing 72 dif­fer­ent sites in an al­ready cramped lo­cal­ity which is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing fierce over devel­op­ment. Ac­cord­ing to Mr Rad­milli’s anal­y­sis, these ap­pli­ca­tions will re­sult in a short­fall of 184 park­ing spa­ces. (See ar­ti­cle by Mr Rad­milli on back page)

Not all of these ap­pli­ca­tions have been so far ap­proved. How­ever, when speak­ing to The

Malta In­de­pen­dent, Paul Rad­milli said he is al­most sure that most of them will.

“What is con­cern­ing about this stag­ger­ing num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions, is that many ex­press their con­cern over big projects such as Town­square, but then tend to ig­nore these smaller de­vel­op­ments.”

He said that this dras­tic in­crease will keep Sliema de­te­ri­o­rat­ing with over devel­op­ment.

“This is the fifth decade in which we’re see­ing un­con­trolled devel­op­ment all over Sliema and neigh­bour­ing towns. This lo­cal­ity is al­ready fac­ing huge park­ing prob­lems and has a hard time to deal with waste man­age­ment. There are many who are quick to say that Sliema is shabby and dirty. But this is what over devel­op­ment brings about.”

Mr Rad­milli ex­pressed his con­cern over the fact that the de­vel­op­ing per­mits are also be­ing is­sued on build­ings that were not built with the proper in­fra­struc­ture.

The PN lo­cal coun­cil­lor also men­tions two par­tic­u­lar cases where the CPPS reg­u­la­tions (Com­muted Park­ing Pay­ment Scheme) were ‘abu­sively ig­nored’ and where these reg­u­la­tions were waivered. He ex­plains that in one case, the Case Of­fi­cer from the PA waivers the reg­u­la­tions by quot­ing a pol­icy which dates back to

2006, a pol­icy which has been up­dated and su­per­seded.

Mean­while, en­vi­ron­men­tal NGO, Flimkien Ghal Am­b­jent Ah­jar will be or­gan­is­ing a protest against over devel­op­ment in lo­cal­i­ties like Sliema. The protest which will be held to­day, ‘Sliema Un­der Siege’, will call on the au­thor­i­ties to put an end to ‘the ram­pant over devel­op­ment lack of plan­ning, lack of con­sid­er­a­tion for res­i­dents’ health and well-be­ing and the ru­ina­tion of the ar­chi­tec­tural and his­tor­i­cal her­itage’ of Sliema.

This protest will be the sec­ond one in a mat­ter of a few weeks with the lat­est one held in Naxxar when en­vi­ron­men­tal NGOs and res­i­dents protested against the build­ing of el­derly peo­ple’s home on ODZ land.

Speak­ing to The Malta In­de­pen­dent, FAA Pres­i­dent Astrid Vella said that this over devel­op­ment is not only ef­fect­ing Sliema, but other lo­cal­i­ties like Swieqi and St Ju­lian’s. ‘We are protest­ing against these cow­boys who do what they want and don’t care about the au­thor­i­ties. What’s worse is that the po­lice are do­ing noth­ing.’

The pub­lic is en­cour­aged to at­tend the protest which is be­ing sup­ported by lead­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal NGOs with the sup­port of the Lo­cal Coun­cil. The protest will be held at Dingli Cir­cus in Sliema at 11am. Ar­chi­tect Ed­ward Said will be ad­dress­ing the protest to high­light is­sues re­lated to the preser­va­tion of the lo­cal her­itage.

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