A controversial proposal to develop a five-storey apartment block overlooking Gozo’s Ġgantija temples, one of the world’s oldest structures, has made it all the way to internationally-renowned UK media house The Times.
An article published this morning detailed how hundreds of complaints have been sent to Malta’s planning authority, which is reviewing the application.
“This temple was older for Pericles than Pericles is for us,” Simon Stoddart, of Cambridge University, told The Times. “To build flats 200 yards from it is a tragedy and a sign of pure greed.”
Lying along Triq il-Parsott in Xagħra, the application looks to develop close to 31 apartments across four floors with 20 garage spaces. The top-level is set back with a penthouse.
The project’s applicant is Emmanuel Farrugia and its architect is Samuel Formosa, with the former insisting that no ruck cutting will take place on site.
Given the area’s archaeological importance, a number of objections have been filed with many raising concerns that the development is not in keeping with the area’s historical value.
“This application appears to violate planning policies and runs counter to everything the temple stands for,” Xaghra Mayor Christian Zammit said.
“Surveys have found archaeological deposits all around the area,” Stoddart said. “Since that farmhouse sits on pristine ground which has never been farmed it is likely we would find things there. Building there is a mistake, even if it is just outside the buffer zone.”
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