db project gets thumbs down from Guardian of Future Generations

Entrepreneur Maurice Mizzi, Malta's Guardian for Future Generations, expresses ‘unfavourable’ opinion on the db Group’s City Centre project ahead of Thursday’s Planning Authority vote

Malta's guardian for future generations, Maurice Mizzi, has come out against the db Group's City Centre project
Malta's guardian for future generations, Maurice Mizzi, has come out against the db Group's City Centre project

Malta’s Guardian for Future Generations is opposed to the high-rise City Centre project in St George’s Bay as he criticises the lack of a masterplan for the area.

Entrepreneur Maurice Mizzi described the lack of a masterplan as “a grave matter”.

The Planning Authority board is expected to discuss and vote on the controversial project put forward by the db Group on Thursday, amid strong opposition from Pembroke residents.

READ ALSO: Pembroke local council to vote against DB Group hotel development

Mizzi said that as matters stood, he had to express an “unfavourable opinion” on the City Centre project.

“The development is being submitted for the green light in the complete absence of a framework masterplan for the area that should be meant to provide both planners and the public with a holistic development vision for the area. This is a grave matter that undermines the rigour of the technical planning process at practically all levels,” the guardian said.

The Guardian for Future Generations is largely a symbolic post created at law and is meant to act as a voice for future generations when it comes to sustainable development and environmental protection.

Mizzi said the considerable public outcry surrounding the project cannot be ignored. Residents’ concerns are more than justified, he added. “Residents should not just be heard during the planning process but have to be reassured that their quality of life shall not be diminished in any way.”

The guardian added that like Townsquare before it and several other major construction projects, City Centre was a sad reminder of the grave anxiety and helplessness that many ordinary people experienced when dealing with developments of this kind.

He called for the public to be more properly empowered through the various authorities to ensure that its rights are safeguarded when faced with “a construction onslaught next door”.

Mizzi said construction has played a very crucial role in Malta’s economic growth but called for proper management of this “lucrative economic boom”.

“Excesses by the construction industry do not just undermine the aesthetic, landscape, infrastructural and environmental integrity of the country as a whole but public health – physical and mental – is easily compromised,” he said.

If the project does get underway, Mizzi said the onus to ensure mitigation measures are implemented lies squarely with the developers and the competent authorities.

He called for a more robust overall sustainability policy that not only places ordinary citizens at its centre but also provides strong mechanisms for reasonable compensation in cases where residents experience adversities, such as unwanted shadowing effect from high-rise buildings.

READ ALSO: Pembroke towers will cast a long wintry shadow on housing estate

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