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Green NGO urges public to help fund its appeal against high-rise projects

Din l-Art Helwa launches 'Stop the Greed' campaign to fund appeal against skyscrapers that have been approved in Sliema and Mriehel 

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
5 September 2016, 12:43pm
Din l-Art Helwa is aiming to raise at least €8,000 through its 'Stop the Greed' campaign
Din l-Art Helwa is aiming to raise at least €8,000 through its 'Stop the Greed' campaign
Environmental NGO Din l-Art Helwa has launched a fund-raising campaign, urging the public to donate money to help fund its planned appeal against high-rise projects that were recently approved in Sliema and Mriehel.

In a statement, Din l-Art Helwa said that its ‘Stop the Greed’ campaign needs to raise at least €8,000 to cover costs related to the appeal process and other legal steps to challenge the Planning Authority’s decision.

“Many people have asked how they can help us in the action against the developments of these skyscrapers and this is one way they can,” Din l-Art Helwa executive president Maria Grazia Cassar said. “These massive structures will have a devastating effect on our landscape and on the daily lives of many people. Before allowing any high-rise projects to continue, the government should present a holistic Master Plan.  It should listen to the whole community and not just the demands of developers.”

To assist this drive, the public are invited to donate by credit card, by internet transfer or by SMS with all details through the Din l-Art Helwa website, or by cheque to 133 Melita St., Valletta.  All donations will be acknowledged and accounted for.The Townsquare project – which will be developed by the Gasan group - will comprise of 159 residential units, 4,719 square metres of offices, 8,241 square metres of commercial space and 748 parking spaces. It is set to become Malta’s tallest building, dwarfing the 23-floor Portomaso tower.

The Mriehel development – which will be developed by the Gasan and Tumas groups - envisages a new financial centre consisting of four tower blocks of 15, 17, 19 and 14 storeys, organised around a central piazza, and sitting on top of five basement levels. The towers will be connected by elevated walkways and bridges, and will include a supermarket, a gym, a showroom and retail facilities.

The Sliema local council has unanimously agreed to appeal the Townsquare project at the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal.

The tribunal is chaired by planning official Martin Saliba, and also includes architect and Freeport chairman Robert Sarsero and lawyer Simon Micallef Stafrace, a former Labour candidate. Due to planning conflicts of interest, Sarsero is often substituted by Labour-leaning lawyer Andy Ellul.