[WATCH] AD slams proposed Mosta development

AD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo: "Alternattiva Demokratika invites the Labour Party, unless it changed its mind since its 2006 vote against ‘rationalization’, to be consistent and now that it is in Government to take the necessary steps against rampant development and land speculation.”

The tract of agricultural land in question is earmarked for a large residential development
The tract of agricultural land in question is earmarked for a large residential development

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party has once again called out land speculators, saying their “insatiable greed, aided and abetted by the PLPN duo, has led to overdevelopment and the destruction of open spaces and fields all over Malta and Gozo,” at a press conference in the outskirts of Mosta, near the Cumbo tower.

The sprawling piece of agricultural land there that separates Mosta from the Durumblat Road in Attard, is targeted for a massive development project by proponent Charles Azzopardi.

It is the second time that a development application was presented to the Planning Authority for the area known as tad-Dib, a 40,500 sq.m tract in the vicinity of the historic Cumbo tower which was included in development boundaries back in 2006.

The land in Mosta measures approximately 40,500 square metres. Around two years ago a very similar Planning Control application had already been rejected by the Planning Authority in a decision hailed as a major victory by AD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo.

"This is yet another area of land which in 2006, the Government of the day had changed its status from ODZ to land inside the development scheme. The Labour Party in Parliament had voted against the so called ‘rationalization’, while the Nationalist Party, to the delight of speculators, had voted in favour of this destruction," Cacopardo said.

"The Planning Authority will now consider the application PC021/19 which asks for this area to be developed into three-storey buildings with semi-basements, and a height of 17.50 metres from street level.”

“The area is proposed to be split into individual plots of different sizes. If this land is developed we will end up with a considerable number of empty properties, adding to stock of empty properties," he added.

Earlier this week, on behalf of AD, Cacopardo submitted an objection to this application, arguing that   another identical application had already been rejected by the Executive Council of the Planning Authority.  The development proposed has too few open spaces and  ignores the fact that the Mosta cemetery needs to grow, argue AD. “It does not take into account the minimum distance by law of the cemetery from the residential area,” Cacopardo explained.

In addition to this, Cacopardo had argued that Cumbo tower is cultural heritage which requires a buffer zone around it, something ignored by the proposal.

 Neither was there any “hint of any impact assessments in the development proposal. In fact there wasn’t even any assessment of impacts in the previous refused application,” he said.

“This is not the only area bearing the brunt of the 2006 decision in favour of speculators,” Cacopardo concluded. “Another example is the area close to here along Triq Dun Mikiel Xerri in Attard. Alternattiva Demokratika invites the Labour Party, unless it changed its mind since its 2006 vote against ‘rationalization’, to be consistent and now that it is in Government to take the necessary steps against rampant development and land speculation.”

 

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