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Green NGOs say Mriehel included in high-rise policy ‘by stealth’

E-NGOs Din l-Art Helwa, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar and Friends of the Earth Malta urge Prime Minister to explain why Mriehel was included in high-rise policy without public consultation

Staff Reporter
6 July 2016, 3:50pm
Image shows the country's skyline including the proposed high-rise towers in Mriehel
Image shows the country's skyline including the proposed high-rise towers in Mriehel
Environmental groups Din l-Art Helwa, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar and Friends of the Earth Malta have once again lambasted the choice to include Mriehel in the government’s high-rise policy, insisting that the zone was included “by stealth, after the public consultation period had ended.”

“This zone was never included in the draft policy in 2014, and was only added afterwards for approval by the Minister,” a joint statement by the groups reads.

The groups went on to urge Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to publicly explain the reason that Mriehel was included in the high-rise policy, as well as why this decision was taken behind closed doors and never issued for public consultation.

 “The Planning Authority is obliged by its own law, as well as by the Aarhus Convention, to consult the public on the substance of any new planning policy,” the groups insist.

They add that the requirement was blatantly ignored in the case of Mriehel, where the Tumas and Gasan Groups are now planning to build four massive towers.

 “Environmental NGOs have been making this point to the Planning Authority for two years, but the applications for these immense towers at Mriehel have been accepted, despite the fact that the Master Plan for the area has not yet been finalised.”

The e-NGOs also pointed out that no decision of the sort should be taken before such a plan is carried out, and all other necessary studies are completed.

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