‘Rabat promenade will obliterate nature’ says ERA in missive against project

Environmental watchdog says promenade in Rabat should be limited to a two-metre-wide walkway shared between cyclists and pedestrians

‘Rabat promenade will obliterate nature’
‘Rabat promenade will obliterate nature’

A proposed belvedere that will include benches and viewpoints and even parking along the picturesque Wied tal-Gnien Hira valley just past Rabat’s Roman Villa, will result in the massive destruction of flora and fauna in the area, the Environment and Resources Authority has warned.

The project is being proposed by the transport ministry.

The country’s environmental watchdog called on the authorities to limit the project to a two-metre-wide walkway to be shared between cyclists and pedestrians and abandon plans for a parking space outside development zones, and belvedere.

More than 1,100 people objected to the project following an appeal by Moviment Graffitti.

The project is being proposed along Triq Tat-Tarbija and Triq Għeriexem just past the Roman Villa, and would see landscaping works including the construction of a promenade, the installation of infrastructural services, paving works, installation of street furniture and provision of parking spaces on ODZ land.

The ERA said the extent of the proposed interventions on the upper valley-side, namely the construction of a completely new and long pedestrian walkway and belvedere, coupled with the provision of parking spaces beyond the existing road, would result in significant negative impacts.

The project would require high embankment walls overlooking the valley and construction vehicles would have to manoeuvre over the underlying ecologically rich land.

Apart from that, the project would take up land that hosts important species such as the fool’s watercress, the greater chickweed, the blue speedweel, the grass leaved pepperworth and the creeping cinquefoil, which is considered as an important pollinator.

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