AD: Naxxar’s urban environment under siege, MDA proposals unacceptable

Proposals by the MDA to compensate lost development opportunities would exacerbate problems in Naxxar and other urban areas, the Green Party has warned

AD: Naxxar’s urban environment under siege, MDA proposals unacceptable

Alternattiva Demokratika has called for the curbing of construction inside urban village cores which are now “under siege”.

“Naxxar, like all major localities in Malta is choked with unbridled growth and with traffic. The urban environment, that is so essential to residents’ quality of life is under siege,” said AD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo during a press conference in Naxxar. “The main problems putting pressure on people’s quality of life in urban areas are traffic congestion and unbridled growth.”

Cacopardo said a proposal by the Malta Developers’ Association for compensation on so called ‘lost development opportunity’ due to restrictions in Urban Conservation Areas by providing additional development rights in other areas, would badly affect localities such as Naxxar.

“Such a ‘compensation’, if it occurs, will undoubtedly exacerbate problems in Naxxar and other urban areas. The construction industry needs to be curbed and not given more and more leeway to continue with their destruction of Maltese localities. MDA’s proposals will compound the problems caused by the 2006 rationalization scheme, the impacts of which are being felt today,” Cacopardo said.

AD is fielding James Gabaretta for Naxxar’s local council.

The massive development going on in several parts of Naxxar and other localities is a direct consequence of the 2006 decision to extend building zones.

“This is leading not only to normal low-rise houses being replaced by a concrete jungle, but has led to a huge number of buildings and a large increase of cars in a small areas. This increase in traffic continues to cause the air quality to deteriorate and therefore contributes to respiratory diseases, amongst other problems,” Cacopardo said.

“The Naxxar Church has ended up as a roundabout. Here we need a car free zone reserved for people, right at the centre of the village, and not a church-roundabout for cars. This can be done with better management and diversion of traffic. Cycling infrastructure is virtually non-existent in Naxxar. We note that the National Transport Strategy approved in 2016 put as a major goal the reduction in short car journeys. Journeys of less than fifteen minutes account for about fifty percent of the movements of cars on our roads.”

Cacopardo said AD wants people and not cars given priority on residential roads, more so in the narrow streets of village cores. “This can be done several ways, including by minimizing speed in residential areas to a maximum of 30 km/h as well as the development of infrastructure so as to encourage the use of bicycles.”

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