“Land ex­pro­pri­a­tion is an op­tion” con­trary to state­ments at Paceville master plan public con­sul­ta­tion

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Land ex­pro­pri­a­tion of pri­vate prop­erty is an op­tion in the Paceville master plan ac­cord­ing to Plan­ning Author­ity of­fi­cial Joseph Gauci, con­trary to what PA ex­ec­u­tive chair­per­son Jo­hann But­tigieg told residents at the public con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing last Mon­day.

Mr Gauci told The Malta In­de­pen­dent that the “plan iden­ti­fied the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a net­work of public open spa­ces as part of com­pre­hen­sive re­de­vel­op­ment schemes” and should it en­counter trou­bles in its devel­op­ment then ”land ex­pro­pri­a­tion may be an op­tion”.

Com­pre­hen­sive re­de­vel­op­ment is when ur­ban land­scape is de­mol­ished before be­ing re­built ac­cord­ing to a plan by the gov­ern­ment.

Mr Gauci was re­ply­ing to ques­tions as to whether the €151 mil­lion des­ig­nated to land ex­pro­pri­a­tion would in­volve pri­vate prop­er­ties not owned by the de­vel­op­ers.

At the PA public con­sul­ta­tion, Mr But­tigieg as­sured residents and busi­ness own­ers that this would not be the case.

He first told an el­derly res­i­dent, who raised con­cerns that the cur­rent master plan places a street di­rectly through her home that ex­pro­pri­a­tion would not take place on her prop­erty and that this would be changed in the re­view process.

He also said the same to a busi­ness owner who com­plained that the devel­op­ment of an open public space on Triq San Wistin would see his shop de­stroyed.

This also runs con­trary to re­ports claim­ing that the Plan­ning Author­ity has pro­posed to “pay” for ex­pro­pri­a­tions on their site by grant­ing them more floor space through a barter ex­change.

Lov­inMalta, a pop­u­lar web­site, also con­ducted a spon­sored sur­vey by the PA in or­der to gauge public per­cep­tion. The sur­vey also showed that land ex­pro­pri­a­tion is a pos­si­bil­ity with the term be­ing men­tioned twice.

This was not the first time the PA used the web­site to gain favour with the youth de­mo­graphic. Only re­cently, they pub­lished a spon­sored ar­ti­cle high­light­ing the pos­i­tives the pro­ject would pro­vide with no men­tion of its neg­a­tive im­pact.

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