Mayor warns government over ‘exaggerated’ Siggiewi development
Siggiewi residents have been objecting to a planned social housing project in their locality since 2006, Mayor Alessia Psaila Zammit said recently during a public meeting.
“The local council had made several appeals to stop the project and for consultation with every section of the Siggiewi community to take place, so that the best use for the land can be found, to be used by the community.”
The council holds that the number residences should reduce, and community facilities increase, and that part of the land be turned into an open community space.
Psaila Zammit said that Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes was invited to a public meeting, “yet did not have the courage to face residents.”
She argued that government was ignoring the challenges that the council, as well as residents, warned about and that this project will create, including traffic, parking issues and lack of proper planning for the large influx of families in a limited space.
The council, she said, will go to whoever is politically responsible for the project and wait for solutions for these problems. She said that the practice whereby the authorities impose large projects and then leave the local council and residents struggle due to the consequences will not be accepted in Siggiewi.
“Those who are stubborn about this development must carry the responsibility, and offer solutions for every problem, big or small, that will occur because of this project if it is developed as proposed. It would be better for government to listen to the Siggiewi residents, and develop a project that would be welcomed by residents.”
She noted that government has yet another social housing development planned just a few metres away. She said that this is a disproportionate division of social housing units, and that there needs to be a better spread among the localities. “If this occurs, Siggiewi will be burdened with the development of more than 150 social housing residences within a few years. This means that a quarter of the 640 social housing units government will build this legislature will be in Siggiewi. This will be done without the authorities presenting studies such as a social impact assessment.”
Sociologist Michael Briguglio also spoke during the event, and said that these projects are not the modern way of how one should treat social cases, and such projects could result in ghettos instead of integration and inclusion.
A quarter of this legislature’s 640 social housing units will be in Siggiewi… without presenting studies such as a social impact assessment.