Santa Lucija residents up in arms against ‘monstrous’ development

Development set to engulf green area in heart of locality less than 100 metres from primary school


Santa Lucija residents are rising up en masse against an application for a five-storey “monstrosity” of a development right in the heart of the locality.

The highly controversial application – for 36 apartments, five maisonettes, seven penthouses and 75 garages – was lodged by X,Y,Z Architecture & Design, in which Labour Party deputy leader Daniel Micallef is a partner.

The locality at large has recoiled in horror at the prospect of the development engulfing the precious green area between Triq L-Istefanotis and Triq Katerina Vitale, right in the middle of the town and less than 100 metres from its secondary school.

Santa Lucija local council minority leader Liam Sciberras on Monday explained how residents had taken matters into their own hands in the wake of a public meeting called by the council last Wednesday. And in just six days they had collected some 1,000 objections to the development by going door-to-door through the town. Another 100 or so objections were also submitted online.

Together, the 1,100 plus submissions represent half the locality’s voting-age population.

Sciberras, together with deputy mayor Fredrick Cutajar presented the objections on Monday morning at the Planning Authority’s headquarters.

Sciberras explained how 90 per cent of the submissions had come from residents of Santa Lucija itself “who are convinced that this project will destroy the soul of our locality.

“In my capacity as a local councillor and minority leader, and without regard to political stripe, I will continue to work hard so this neighbourhood so close to our hearts does not lose its serenity and harmony.”

A Council meeting, Sciberras explained, was held on 24 November 2020 where he had been the only Santa Lucija councillor to have objected to the proposal and attempted to nip the project in the bud.

At the Council’s last meeting, on 30 August, Sciberras was, again, the only councillor to have proposed a vote in favour of the environment and against this application in particular, but, he explained “no one chose to second my motion, for what reason I do not know”.

Although several residents urged the council for a vote to be taken on the matter, Sciberras explained, no vote was held as “the mayor once again decided the issue was not relevant”.

He went on to chastise the Council’s Labour majority, saying, “Unfortunately, out of the five local councillors, it was only myself and my colleague Terrence Ellul who did everything we could to collect the largest number of objections possible.

On the contrary, he said the efforts put in by the other three councillors – Mayor Charmaine St John, Deputy Mayor Frederick Cutajar and councillor Kylie D’Amato “were literally non-existent”.

“It is not enough for one to say they are against the project but neglects one’s duty to go meet the residents and collect submissions. If a number of residents had not offered their help going door to door with me, the number of submissions would not have even exceeded 150.”

Sciberras thanked PN MP Mark Anthony Sammut “who sat with me and listened to the people of Santa Lucija, and conveyed the message when he spoke about the project”.

The Fourth District MP last week urged his constituents to object to the proposal, saying, “The psychological impact of the development cannot be ignored.

“The village is mostly made up of old people and young families. A development of this magnitude will have a negative effect on the quality of life of these residents, particularly until it is completed.”

Sciberras thanked Labour MP Katya De Giovanni, who also objected to the proposed development, “and everyone who believed in our village’s soul and signed the objection against this monstrous project”.


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12 days ago

Malta needs more anti-mafia/self-respect initiatives like this.

Francis Said
Francis Said
11 days ago

A copy of the projected uglification of our Country, should be sent to the Hon. Miriam Dalli and her project to have green areas throughout our Country.
Maybe, just maybe she will stand up and say NO. I very much doubt that this will stop this megaproject, but it is worth a try.
With Daniel Micallef as Deputy Leader of the PL and partner of XYZ Architecture and Design it certainly seems a done deal.

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