Paceville masterplan 'another sham process fuelled by greed' - Din l-Art Helwa

Din l-Art Helwa insists masterplan was drafted to appease financial interests and calls on Auditor General and Ombudsman to probe the process

Miriam Dalli
6 December 2016, 1:56pm
A master plan should primarily address the needs of the entire community for the area, harmonizing them into one vision and also providing a positive effect on the rest of the country, according to environment NGO Din l-Art Helwa.

“While Din l-Art Ħelwa favours the development of masterplan, the draft Paceville Masterplan has failed this basic test,” he said.

Din l-Art Ħelwa objected to the process that was followed in the development of the draft masterplan, arguing that transparency was totally absent.

“What is supposed to be a ‘public interest’ process was apparently used to further direct financial interests. The submissions of nine developers were taken on board behind closed doors at the earliest stage of the drafting process while the interests of all the other stakeholders were ignored,” it argued.

Din l-Art Helwa insisted that the needs of the community and the common good were not taken into account, whilst the property of others was used as “a free resource” to facilitate the nine developments. The potential for regeneration of the streets and existing buildings of the area was hardly considered.  

Din l-Art Helwa questioned how Paceville was chosen for the masterplan exercise, at a cost footed by the taxpayer, “when more important sites in Malta are clearly in dire need of regeneration”. “Good governance advocates that areas in need of regeneration are targeted for study before addressing commercial private interests as seems to be the prime objective of this draft masterplan,” it said.

Calling for its immediate withdrawal, Din l-Art Helwa branded the masterplan as “another sham process fuelled by greed”.

It went on to call on the Auditor General and the Ombudsman to probe the process followed by the government and the Planning Authority and determine whether the public interest has been adequately served and safeguarded.

“The proposal for land reclamation at the Portomaso site is entirely unjustified and should be eliminated altogether. This will degrade the land and marine environment while increasing traffic and other infrastructural pressure to the area.

“With the amount of development being proposed for the Paceville area, the construction of further apartments or hotels through land reclamation cannot be justified.”

Miriam Dalli joined in 2010 and was assistant editor fr...