ADPD champions right to live peacefully at home without fearing nearby construction

The Green Party says Parliament should equip the regulatory authorities with tools to ensure regularisation of construction industry

ADPD candidates in Santa Venera on Tuesday (Photo: ADPD)
ADPD candidates in Santa Venera on Tuesday (Photo: ADPD)

ADPD - The Green Party said that everyone has a right to reside peacfully at home, without fear for their life or their property due to next door construction.

At a press conference at Abela Scolaro Street in Santa Venera, the street where Miriam Pace lost her life after her house collapsed, it said everyone had a right to reside peacefully at home without fear.

ADPD candidate Sandra Gauci said the boards that regulate building construction and development should be sensitised on the impacts their decisions have on residents.

Gauci said this could be facilitated if residents’ associations are represented in the decision-making process at the Planning Authority (PA) and the regulatory process at the authority regulating the building industry (BCA).

“It was a positive step forward when regulations were improved such that developers were obliged to fork out part of the expenses incurred by residents when they seek advice on proposed development in their neighbourhood. This initiative is however rather limited and should be extended to cover all reasonable expenses incurred by residents to protect themselves and their properties,” Gauci concluded.

ADPD Chairperson and candidate Carmel Cacopardo emphasised that authorities regulating development and building construction should make sure everyone feels safe at home.

“Regulation is not a paper exercise but is carried out through the deployment of trained personnel. These are trained to seek and identify abuse and not just act when a report has been filed,” Cacopardo said. 

Representatives of various sectors sit on the boards administering the regulatory authorities linked to the building industry. It is only residents’ associations which are absent and not represented.

Cacopardo argued that construction diminishes the quality of life of residents but highlighted that it has also led to the loss of lives.

“The responsibility for all this should not only be carried by those who do not carry out their work properly, or by those duty bound to supervise and act if required. Responsibility should also be shouldered by the regulatory authorities and those appointing them, that is to say the politicians in Parliament,” Cacopardo said.

He said it was essential that Parliament provided the regulatory authorities with the required tools to be able to ensure that the construction industry was brought to order. 

Cacopardo stated that unregulated lobbying was part of the problem, with developers being too close to politicians. He said it was imperative that BCA was provided with additional resources, primarily trained personnel. “Both the BCA and the PA should prioritise residents and the ecology in their work, even before taking into account any economic consideration.”

ADPD said it would be insisting that all those active in the building industry should be trained, applying not only to tradesmen but also to those handling and operating machinery.

“It is essential that all the recommendations of the Quintano Commission are implemented without further delay. In addition lobbying must be regulated at the earliest. If we are not prepared to implement a strict code of behaviour on all the building industry, it will not be long before we will have to face once more a repetition of recent incidents,” Cacopardo said.