Zonqor development has residents concerned

Residents in the area are up in arms insisting that the area should never have been added to development zones

A company has presented the first plans for development on a tract of natural land at Zonqor, Marsaskala, that was controversially added to the building zones back in 2006.

The application was presented by Ebcon Trading.

The development has been proposed on a garigue area along Triq Il-Ghaguza, for a five-floor block that will have two ground-floor maisonettes, six apartments on three floors and two penthouses, as well as eight basement garages, on a 373 square metre site.

The plot forms part of a far larger 9,000sq.m tract of land added to the controversial development zones extension of 2006.

No planning control application was presented to regulate development on the entire site, as normally happens on sites added to development zones in 2006. 

Residents in the area are up in arms insisting that the area should never have been added to development zones. 

Apart from expressing concerns on the environmental impact of the project, residents who spoke to this newspaper are concerned by the company’s track record, due to its involvement in a development project in Gwardamangia adjacent to an apartment block which collapsed last year.

In one of the 13 objections presented to the development, a resident described the proposed development as “crazy”, pointing out that presently all garages are located at street level. “No one ever dared dig here,” the resident said.

But many of those objecting preferred to remain anonymous. “Street residents are very concerned but reluctant to talk as they are scared of consequences,” one representation said.

A resident speaking to MaltaToday expressed concern on the proposed excavations, especially in view of the company’s track record. The same company was involved in a pay-out to victims of of the collapse of an apartment block in Gwardamangia.

Although the application for the development carried out next to the collapsed block in Gwardamangia was presented by Mohib Abouzidan, documents seen by MaltaToday show that Ellul’s Ebcon Trading paid €6,000 to the four proprietors of St Peter Flats, to cover the costs of finding temporary accommodation.

The letter specified that the sum was paid as a sign of good will and did not represent any admission of responsibility for the collapse. 

The architect of the proposed Marsaskala project, namely Jonathan Schembri, was also Abouzidan’s architect in the Gwardamangia application. Earlier this week, TVM reported that three persons are expected to be arraigned in court over this case.

More in Townscapes