Malta’s Planning Authority has once again favoured massive blocks of apartment over precious agricultural land, this time approving a disputed development in Nigret, Żurrieq, with the architect being Former Minister George Pullicino.
As a result of this decision, the area of around a football ground and a half of agricultural land will be transformed into hundreds of apartments.
Even though over 1,500 residents had sent a letter to politicians asking them to intervene and stop this development, their cries fell on deaf ears.
“This construction onslaught will change Żurrieq forever, and not for the better. They will bring more and more pollution, congestion, and irreversible loss of farmland,” the residents have said.
“The justification by the Planning Authority to allow these developments is extremely weak. Despite the fact that this area was no longer designated as Outside Development Zone (ODZ) with a retroactive decision in 2006, it does not automatically grant the developer the right to build,” Moviment Graffitti has reacted.
“The law is clear. An application to change the zoning of an area to residential must be assessed according to the highest planning policy, namely the Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED).”
“This document establishes that agricultural zones should be given priority and should not be encroached upon.”
“This principle was recently affirmed by the courts. In 2021, a court ruled that authorities should refuse development in areas that, although no longer designated as ODZ with the 2006 decision, still hold significant historical or environmental value.”
“Therefore, the Planning Authority not only had the right but also the duty to reject the loss of 11,500 square meters of agricultural land for apartments that are not needed.”
What do you make of this latest approval?