NGOs call for withdrawal of Qajjenza application after PM’s speech

NGOs said that following the prime minister’s speech last Sunday, in which he committed to using public land for the community’s benefit, they expected the government to halt the development process at Qajjenza.

Last Sunday, Prime Minister Robert Abela declared during a political activity that “Whatever land is under the government’s control… that land will only be used for the benefit of the community.”

While Għaqda Storja u Kultura Birżebbuġa, Marsaxlokk Heritage and Moviment Graffitti welcomed the prime minister’s statements, they now expect the government to take action to stop the processing of application PC/00022/23.

This application, submitted by developer Paul Attard, seeks to change the Local Plan to allow six blocks of apartments and offices, going up to eight storeys, on the former Enemalta gas storage facility in Qajjenza, Birżebbuġa.

The Shift has reported that the architect behind the development is the wife of the Office of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff.

Over two-thirds of the land covered by PC/00022/23 is owned by the government company Enemalta or the Lands Authority. The developer, Paul Attard of GAP Holdings, has been involved in a number of other land grabs since Labour was elected to power – such as the take-up of a green lung in Mellieħa.

Application PC/00022/23 represents a very serious threat to Birżebbuġa and Marsaxlokk since it would pave the way for a very intensive and obtrusive development right next to the coast and abutting ODZ land.

The application has attracted hundreds of objections from residents and other concerned individuals.

In April, the residents’ organisations Għaqda Storja u Kultura Birżebbuġa and Marsaxlokk Heritage wrote to Minister Miriam Dalli expressing their alarm about the Qajjenza situation.

They stated that, after decades of inconvenience from the Enemalta operation on this site, it is unfair that residents have to face the threat of such a monstrosity now.

The residents’ organisations demanded that the site remain public and be used for the common good rather than private profits. Minister Dalli did not reply to their letter.

Qajjenza is the most congested area in Birżebbuġa. It is densely populated and severely lacks public spaces.

“The former Enemalta gas plant has great potential for a community-based project that can be enjoyed by everyone. On the other hand, should it be transformed into a massive development, it will lead to a sharp drop in the quality of life and environment within the surrounding areas,” the NGOs said in a statement.


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S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
30 days ago

Please! Don’t be so finicky! He did not mean this one. Not GAP Holdings. In any case your proposal for a community-based project that can be enjoyed by everyone makes too much sense. So, it’s a non-starter.

simon oosterman
simon oosterman
30 days ago

All pre-election promisses are only valid till the night of election day. Remember; meritocracy, transparency and accountability?

30 days ago

So so true, Labour’s promises belong in the trash bin for all they’re worth.

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