‘Paceville mas­ter plan should be scrapped im­me­di­ately’ - NGOs, res­i­dents against project

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Julian Bon­nici

Res­i­dents of Paceville and sur­round­ing ar­eas, busi­ness own­ers and ac­tivists gath­ered out­side Le Meri­dien ho­tel in St Julian’s yes­ter­day to voice their con­cerns re­gard­ing the Paceville mas­ter plan be­fore a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion with the Plan­ning Au­thor­ity on the project.

The group im­me­di­ately made it clear that it was call­ing for the mas­ter plan to be scrapped in its en­tirety.

It wel­come the idea but, in its cur­rent form, the plan is struc­turally flawed for a num­ber of rea­sons.

A spokesper­son for Kamp Emer­genza Am­b­jent said that Mott Mac­Don­ald’s grilling in front of a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee re­vealed a num­ber of dis­con­cert­ing is­sues.

Firstly, the mas­ter plan dis­places a num­ber of res­i­dents and small busi­nesses through the recla­ma­tion of land to con­struct av­enues and ben­e­fit de­vel­op­ers the likes of which had not been seen since “the to­tal­i­tar­ian dic­ta­tor­ship of Mus­solini” as a res­i­dent said.

Ev­ery­one ex­pressed con­cern that the plan­ners did not con­sult with the pub­lic at a de­sign stage, prov­ing that the project seeks to ben­e­fit the few rather than the many, ac­cord­ing to the spokesper­son.

She pointed to­wards Mott Mac­Don­ald’s state­ment that the mas­ter­plan had been de­vel­oped on the ba­sis of the “as­pi­ra­tions of sites” as proof that the ex­er­cise was de­signed to ben­e­fit the de­vel­op­ers in­stead of the needs of the com­mu­nity and the en­vi­ron­ment. She went on to say that “only nine peo­ple would ben­e­fit from the project”.

This, it was claimed, could kick off an ugly prece­dent were mas­ter plans which ex­pro­pri­ate pri­vate land with­out pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion would ex­tend to the whole is­land.

A spokesper­son for Movi­ment Graf­fiti said that the project was ex­tremely fright­en­ing since it pro­posed the con­struc­tion of sky­scrapers in an area which could not sup­port it, whilst also com­pletely ig­nor­ing the pub­lic and busi­nesses in­ter­ests.

The en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns sur­round­ing the project were also top of the agenda, with a spokesper­son for Flimkien ghal Am­b­jent Ah­jar say­ing that Mott Mac­Don­ald had not even been aware of the leg­is­la­tion con­cern­ing the fore­shore, which is con­sid­ered pub­lic do­main and ODZ land.

She stressed that such a dras­tic change to the sea bed which will be brought around by the land recla­ma­tion would cause se­vere and ir­repara­ble dam­age to the sur­round­ing marine en­vi­ron­ment.

Astrid Vella, who was also present, spoke of the il­le­gal­i­ties tak­ing place in the project, say­ing this was the first and fore­most rea­son why this project could not be­gin.

It was also an­nounced that a protest will be tak­ing place at 10:30am on Satur­day 12th Novem­ber in front of the LOVE mon­u­ment in Spinola Bay, St Julian’s.

Photo: Jonathan Borg

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.