Getting ready for a rainy day | Sandro Chetcuti

It is boomtime for the construction and development sector… but are we biting off more than we can chew? Sandro Chetcuti, president of the Malta Developers’ Association, argues that it is precisely now, when the economic going is good, that we should be preparing for harder times

Malta Development Association president Sandro Chetucti said developers sometimes drawn into controversies they themselves don't agree with
Malta Development Association president Sandro Chetucti said developers sometimes drawn into controversies they themselves don't agree with

Malta’s construction boom appears to be fuelling unrest among sections of the population. At the risk of generalising, there is a growing perception that the construction and development sector is constantly taking ever-bigger slices of the pie… eating more into public spaces, riding roughshod over local communities, and so on. As MDA President, how do you respond to these concerns?

As you say, it is a perception; and perceptions are sometimes based on untruths. Sometimes I feel that we, as an association, are drawn into certain controversies, even when we don’t necessarily agree with them… even though, to be fair, we do enjoy the respect and trust of those who know the association well; those who understand the subject. And that includes some of the media, today. And slowly, slowly – thanks in part to our customer care department – even the general public is beginning to come to us, after losing hope that the authorities will listen to them.

We’ve had visits by ordinary citizens who suffer from inconveniences related to construction, but who found no help from the authorities. They come to us instead, and we have always opened our doors to everyone; and we always try to mediate. It also has to be said that very often, the developer would not be aware of all the details of what’s going on in a construction site. Sometimes it’s the people working on site who wouldn’t be observing the rules. So when we draw the developer’s attention to existing problems, what normally happens is that the developer takes the bull by the horns, and handles the issues there and then…

Read the full interview in MaltaToday's digital edition 

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