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'Insensitive Townsquare developers' to start excavation works ahead of appeal outcome

Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar accuse Townsquare developers of purposely presenting the controversial development as a fait accompli, ignoring the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal

Staff Reporter
6 October 2017, 5:26pm
Aerial view of luxury Townsquare project, Sliema
Aerial view of luxury Townsquare project, Sliema
Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar has decried the “insensitivity and haste of the Townsquare developers” who have decided to start excavation works on the €100 million project.

FAA is one of the NGOs appealing the high-rise project

“By announcing that excavations are to begin forthwith before the outcome of the appeal is decided by the competent authority, the developers are hoping to present the controversial development as a fait accompli, ignoring the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal,” the FAA said in a statement.

The FAA argued that the developers were fully aware of the strict time limits in which appeals are decided. In this case, the appeal should be decided by no later than November.

“Rushing to hack away at the earth and begin excavation works is entirely disrespectful of the planning and appeals process and is in breach of the residents’ constitutional right to a fair hearing.”

The NGO accused the Townsquare developers of constantly changing the goalposts when describing the amount of open space envisaged in the Townsquare development.

FAA recalled that last year, Townsquare Sliema Ltd director Andrew Ganado claimed that they would create an open space in the heart of Sliema nearly equivalent in size to the Independence Garden in the same locality.

“In the most recent information released by the developers the open space accessible to the public has now shrunk to less than a third of that,” it said.

Townsquare said that “only 40%” of their footprint will be occupied by buildings, with the remainder “landscaped for public use and maintained by developers”.

FAA went on to add that “misleading and contradictory statements of the type show the contempt in which the public is held”.

“FAA will continue to contest this behaviour in every fora possible until the law is adhered to and residents are not treated with contemptuous disregard,” it added.

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