AD urges government to reject tal-Marnisi development

Alternattiva Demokratika questions what criteria the Planning Authority basis its decisions on after similar applications lead to different outcome

Alternattiva Demokratika (from left): Ralph Cassar, Arnold Cassola and Carmel Cacopardo
Alternattiva Demokratika (from left): Ralph Cassar, Arnold Cassola and Carmel Cacopardo

Alternattiva Demokratika has warned the authorities against ruining 17,530 square metres of land, at Tal-Marnisi in Marsaxlokk.

AD deputy chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said decisions taken by the Planning Authority did not make sense, when one considers that similar applications lead to different outcomes.

The Green party pointed out last week’s decision by the Planning Authority to approve the application to determine the extent and intensity of development on the periphery of Marsaxlokk… just a few minutes after it had turned down a similar application in respect of land at Mosta.

“This raises alarm bells as no one has any idea as to the criteria on the basis of which these decisions are taken,” Cacopardo said.

The Planning Authority’s decision is not final. Notwithstanding that this decision is not appealed, it will now be passed on to parliamentary secretary for lands Deborah Schembri, in order for the decision to be effective.

Alternattiva Demokratika said that “an incorrect decision” was taken by parliament way back in 2006, as a result of which around two million square metres of and on the periphery of towns and villages were given up for development.

“It’s essential that before she takes the definite decision which will permanently ruin this vast agricultural land, the parliamentary secretary ensures that the social, economic and the environmental impacts of this proposed massive development is adequately considered,” Cacopardo said.

According to the 2011 census, out of 1,129 residential units in Marsaxlokk, 75.3% were occupied, 18.7% were vacant and 5.9% only occasionally in use.

“On its own this is more than sufficient reason to discourage this type of development,” he said.

AD reminded that the then Labour opposition had voted against this type of development in 2006.

“There is still time for Government to save face if the Planning Authority recommendation is not approved by Schembri,” he said.

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