Plans by the Naxxar local council to build a large garden around an 18th century windmill near the Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary School have been shot down.
Naxxar mayor Anne Marie Muscat Fenech Adami told Lovin Malta the council has been working on this plan for Tal-Għaqba Windmill for the past few years but was spurned by the Lands Authority.
She said the authority ignored the council’s request to pass the land over to them, instead opting to renew the contract for the current tenant, a private company which has been using it as a vehicle scrapyard.
“This is shameful and sad,” she said on Facebook. “The Naxxar council asked for a tiny, tiny bit of land, more than 500 times smaller than Miżieb and l-Aħrax [woodlands which were recently handed over to the national hunting federation], but the government rejected our request.”
“This land was slapped with a number of enforcement notices after it was converted into a scrapyard and we wanted to convert it into a peaceful garden where the public can relax.”
“It would also have seen our historic windmill, which we are spending hundreds of thousands of euro to restore, surrounded by a peaceful zone which everyone could enjoy.”
“When the existing contract had over three months to run, the council asked the government to pass it over, but it didn’t respond to our request and instead renewed its contract with a private company for the next 16 years. What a shame!”
She said the council has since applied for a four-metre buffer zone around the windmill, which would incorporate a lift for visitors to the historic site, but has yet to receive a response.
Lovin Malta has asked the Lands Authority to explain its decision but hasn’t received a response as of the time of writing.
Cover photo: Left: The Tal-Għaqba Windmill Right: An artistic rendition of the council’s proposed garden