Lija garden threatened by development, left unprotected

A massive private garden inside Lija’s urban conservation area is being earmarked for the construction of a 10-apartment block and carpark

Bugeja & Desira Ltd wants to develop this garden in Lija into apartments
Bugeja & Desira Ltd wants to develop this garden in Lija into apartments

A massive private garden inside Lija’s urban conservation area, is being earmarked for the construction of a 10-apartment block and carpark.

Bugeja & Desira Ltd, a company owned by Darren Desira and the Bilom group’s Michael Bugeja, want to turn the 800sq.m garden between Triq id-Dejqa and Triq il-Forn into a block of ten apartments on two levels, over four underlying parking levels for 49 garages.

The garden’s boundary wall and an existing store will be demolished, retaining only the façade of the store.

The project is in clear breach of local plan policies protecting internal gardens in the three villages of Lija, Attard and Balzan.

Curiously, while the local plan approved in 2006 includes a general presumption against the development of private gardens in Lija’s Urban Conservation Area, a policy map identifies this particular garden for residential development. All other gardens in its vicinity are designated as green areas.

The local plan calls for the conservation and protection of Lija’s private gardens located within the UCA. The preservation of these gardens is described “as being fundamental to the traditional characteristics of the Three Villages” and such gardens are considered as “the most important feature alongside the winding streets and vernacular architecture that give Lija its identity”.

Bugeja & Desira Ltd do not own the site but declare that they were given the owners’ consent to present the application.

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