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AD pushes for closure of industrial plants in Birzebbugia

AD deputy Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo says future of land released by closure of industrial plants in the locality is an opportunity for Birzebbugia to take back that which had been taken from it by successive governments "after years of savage and intense development.”

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
27 May 2017, 2:19pm
AD candidate Pascal Aloisio addressing this morning's press conference
AD candidate Pascal Aloisio addressing this morning's press conference
First-time Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) candidate Pascal Aloisio has taken up the cause of long-suffering residents of Birzebbugia, whose quality of life had been hit hard in the past by noise from the nearby Freeport and the flightpath of landing aircraft and who now had to live with the risks inherent to having a tanker for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) moored offshore.

“Political decisions should always have the quality of life of residents as their primary objective,” said the 22 year-old newcomer, who is contesting the 5th District on an AD ticket, as he addressed a press conference in the locality this morning.

“Birzebbugia is one of many examples in Malta where development took place without the slightest consideration to the impact on residents,” he said. “Just in front of us we have the Enemalta plant, which for years has served as a fuel storage facility, totally surrounded by residential units. At Qajjenza, we had the gas plant operating up till four years ago, also surrounded by a residential zone. On the other side of Birzebbugia, we have the Freeport.”

The latter created a constant inconvenience to residents due to continuous noise pollution, he said. A housing estate in the locality had also been built directly beneath the flightpath of aircraft coming in to land, Aloisio said. The power station, which before its switch to LNG a few years ago, was running on heavy fuel oil, further diminished residents' quality of life.

The LNG tanker moored off Birzebbugia
The LNG tanker moored off Birzebbugia
AD deputy Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said the AD was pleased to note that thanks to pressure exerted by the local council and AD, the plant at Qajjenza had been dismantled and the Freeport had finally considered taking action to reduce environmental impact on residents.

The Enemalta plant would be dismantled in the coming months, he said, expecting an “animated discussion” on the future of the huge parcel of land. “This is going to be an opportunity for Birzebbugia to take back that which had been taken from them by successive governments.”

“This will be a unique opportunity for the entire community to be given back facilities and open spaces after years of savage and intense development.”

Asked to expand on the party's stance on the related issue of rampant construction across Malta, Cacopardo pointed to the party's electoral manifesto, which proposed the refusal of permits for the construction of new residential buildings in areas where there are already a large number of empty buildings. The Planning Authority had recently upheld residents' objections to a new development in Mosta, precisely on the grounds that there were already a large number of vacant properties in the area, he said.

matthew_agius
Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...