Revised university plans fall short of avoiding environmental destruction – Graffiti

Moviment Graffiti says revised plans of American University of Malta still unacceptable due to use of ODZ land

Moviment Graffiti says revised university plans are still unacceptable as it destroys 18,000 square metres of ODZ land
Moviment Graffiti says revised university plans are still unacceptable as it destroys 18,000 square metres of ODZ land

The government’s plan to split the American University of Malta between Cospicua and Marsaskala is still unacceptable and it falls short of avoiding an environmental destruction, Moviment Graffiti said.

The NGO said the government’s proposal for the private American University is better than the original proposal, but still unacceptable, as it will destroy 18,000 square metres of ODZ land to develop the university.

“While the changes in the proposed development are positive they still fall short of constituting a real solution that avoids environmental destruction Malta has already experienced a building spree in the past three decades and it cannot afford more construction on natural land, especially if such land is ODZ,” it said.

Similarly, Moviment Grffiti said the government failed to address concerns in relation to the economic and social impact of this development, and took umbrage at the government’s insistence against publishing its agreement with Sadeen Group, arguing that Dock 1 in Cospicua could be sold or rented.

“The newly unveiled plans fail to address concerns related to transparency, even because the government has desisted from publishing the agreement with Sadeen. Under what terms will this space be given to Sadeen and how much will they pay for its use?”

"While a private University might be beneficial to a few entrepreneurs, this development risks creating a space for the exclusive use of rich students and, consequently, an increased cost of living in surrounding areas. Moreover, educational development is only achieved when there is free and accessible quality education for all.”

Moviment Graffiti also paid tribute to Front Harsien ODZ’s role in influencing the government to safeguard Malta’s environment.

“The Front brought together environmentally concerned individuals and civil society and was pivotal in introducing environmental considerations in the proposed project. We hereby reiterate our support to the Front and our commitment to continue opposing construction on ODZ land.”

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