Church Environment Commission laments construction ‘madness’

Commission says St Ignatius Villa in Balluta has architectural, historical importance, should not be demolished

St Ignatius Villa, as of 4 December 2017 (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
St Ignatius Villa, as of 4 December 2017 (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

The Interdiocesan Environmental Commission has voiced its disappointed that St Ignatius Villa in St Julians has started to be demolished, as it encouraged the authorities concerned to take all measures available to them to prevent the ‘madness’ of engaging in construction at all costs, to blind us.

The villa was of great value, the Commission maintained in a press statement today, and despite various building works done throughout the years, its original architecture has remained.

Moreover, it said, the Villa was one of the oldest high-standard buildings ever built in Balluta, even older than the first church in the locality.

It also had historical importantace, it maintained, including the connection it had with people who had had an important role in Malta’s history.

The Commission was thus joining environmental NGO Din l-Art Helwa in appealing for the scheduling of the villa.

“We encourage the relevant authorities to act before it is too late. As long as such cases keep happening, and those responsible do nothing, one would be right in thinking that abuse is accepted in the construction industry, which has to date said nothing about this particular case,” the Commission said.

“Apart from this, similar situations encourage others to do the same, and consequently our country keeps losing its architectural patrimony, with the excuse that construction pushes forward Malta’s development.”

We must work to preserve our architectural heritage from the frenzy of building demolition, and from the conversion of existing buildings into apartment, the Commission emphasised, adding that this served to financially cripple our children who had to buy or rent such properties, to the benefit of speculators.

“This frenzy is leading to societal erosion and to the discarding of precious heritage left over by our forefathers,” it stressed.