Graffitti calls on Xemxija residents to oppose second ‘monstrous’ development

A recent proposal for a 13-storey tower in Xemxija has prompted NGO Moviment Graffitti to call on the public to join its opposition to the project, noting the impact of the “monstrous” development.

The tower will include almost 300 apartments and is being proposed just a few metres away from the controversial construction of a nine-storey multi-tower residential and commercial complex at the former Mistra Village site (over 700 apartments) subject to a drawn-out tribunal appeals process.

If approved, the latest project, proposed by applicant Tony Gauci through architect Ray Demicoli, would see a massive complex built on what is currently protected and undeveloped garigue, close to historic cart ruts and Roman baths in the area.

In a statement protesting the project, Graffitti announced a conference at the site on Saturday, calling the public to “voice their concerns and make it clear that this proposal should be refused outright to safeguard the interests of the residents and our cultural heritage”.

“Xemxija residents are already facing the construction of another 700-plus apartments… metres away from the proposed 13-storey tower,” they said.

Plans submitted to the Planning Authority show a large, 13-storey complex with almost 300 apartments.

Graffitti said, “Another monstrous development would continue to add to the copious amounts of noise, dust, traffic and stress to the area’s residents”.

They called on the Planning Authority, the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and the government to “protect the land for the common benefit of residents… preserving cultural and natural heritage”.

Last year, The Shift reported how ongoing works by another developer at an adjacent site are causing “constant mental stress” for residents. A decision by the Environment and Planning Tribunal to dismiss an appeal against the project’s approval was overturned by the courts.

While the tribunal is still reevaluating the appeal, works at the site continue, aided by regulatory loopholes introduced by the Malta Tourism Authority.

A reform of the appeals process to halt works under appeal, promised by Prime Minister Robert Abela last May, has not been done.

Moviment Graffitti press conference in protest of the project will be held at the site on Triq Piscopo Macedonia on Saturday 9 March at 10:30am.


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Adrian Micallef
Adrian Micallef
1 month ago

“Last year The Shift reported how ongoing works by another developer at an adjacent site are causing “constant mental stress” for residents.”…..Do these residents realise that when their homes were being built, they were a “constant mental stress” for people already living there, or are they too selfish and self centered to even realise this?

Secondly, if Graffitti really cared about Xemxija, they should have been protesting for the last two decades about the illegal uptake of the shoreline by the boathouse owners, with tents extending all the way to the sea. You can take your protests somewhere else because it seems that the only grudge you have is a personal one against developers.

1 month ago

We have more than enough monstrosities in the small island we live in. Bit by bit, the open spaces are getting fewer and fewer. We must stand up for our precious natural environment, the little that is left. Our children will be condemned to live in an urban jungle. The land speculators will not mind though, because they can afford to buy villas in Tuscany, large swathes of pristine land in Sicily, or perhaps a cosy island in Croatia. Their children will have beautiful places to live in (abroad, obviously). Exploitation of land; exploitation of people. Open your eyes and think about tomorrow.

Jonathan Bianco
Jonathan Bianco
1 month ago

The huge difference between today’s construction and those of 20+ years ago in that area is that most at that time usually dug 2 mts for semi basement garages and the blocks were usually just 1 row so the stress levels were very much less and for a much less time. The time frame and depth of digging for these huge developments is what create the mental stress as it is ongoing for years before completion, with them another development of similar magnitude starting off again. The timeframe is the issue. Besides the fact that the infrastructure cannot cope with another 1000 apartments in that area and the uglification of the visual of the area from any vantage point. Previous development there ( and most of Malta) with no proper visual impact assessment had already made the entire area ugly and I had hoped we had learned from the lesson, but seems like the bigger the better, the uglier the better

Adrian Micallef
Adrian Micallef
1 month ago

If anyone should complain, it’s the non-residents, that through no fault or contribution of their own, have to put up with an ugly looking Mistra ridge but definitely not the job of the residents who contributed to this uglification, in the first place.

As you rightly said “the uglification of the visual of the area from any vantage point” is already a reality and has been so, from the moment the first apartment block was built on the Mistra Ridge and no construction or lack of construction thereof, can make it any uglier than it already is, or somehow return it to its natural beauty. Which takes us back to my point : they were ok with the noise, disturbances and uglification they contributed to but now they are selfish enough to complain.

My second and most important point is, that if Graffitti really cared about Xemxija, they’ve had the opportunity, for the last 20 years or more, to protest against the boathouse owners, that have illegally taken up the shoreline with fixed frames and tents (Structures that have had enforcement notices on them for many years), extending all the way from their boathouse to the shore line. So no, Graffitti’s crocodile tears don’t impress me because it seems the only mission they have is against the construction lobby not the environment in general, specifically in relation to Xemxija.

1 month ago

You do not have to be a member of Graffitti to feel total and absolute disgust for the mindless destruction and greed of the so-called Development & Construction industry. They presume they’re gods who have grabbed the current government officials by their goolies.
These demon-gods are not only slowly but surely crushing the government and the economy, they are also moving in the direction of total self-destrucion as well. This is a serious warning.
We need a total moratorium on construction until NEW and CLEAN institutions are in place. Institutions which recognize that 1. there is a Duty of Care for residents as well as 2. overall and comprehensive vision of what is best for Malta – visually and practically.

Selfish and greedy behaviours MUST be eliminated pronto.

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