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Malta And Gozo’s ‘Orgy Of Overdevelopment’ Hits International Headlines

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Malta’s rampant overdevelopment is continuing to make international headlines, with The Telegraph featuring an expose’ on the country’s incessant uglification. 

On Saturday, the world-renowned publication took a look at the constant overdevelopment hitting the islands, lamenting how the country’s beloved historic buildings have come tumbling down amid an “orgy of development”. 

The article was spurred on by the recent demolition of the last remaining boathouse in the once picturesque Xlendi Bay

The building, which used to house The Boathouse restaurant, was knocked down after the Planning Authority approved an application to convert it into a five-storey block of apartments.

A restaurant will take over the ground floor and first floor levels, with four overlying residential apartments. The plans sparked public outrage and a debate about the future of Gozo, with a parliamentary petition even filed in a last-ditch attempt to save the boathouse.

However, it was too late and the fate of the former boathouse had been sealed. Footage and repots on the incident spread like wildfire over social media.

“They’re greedy. They want more, more, more. It’s like the mafia. They do whatever they want,” one waitress who works in the area told The Telegraph. 

The piece looked at the issue of overdevelopment plaguing the entire island of Gozo, with areas like Marsalforn also subject to intense speculation. 

“It’s become big business and governments are afraid to rein it in because they don’t have alternative investment opportunities to offer. But it’s extremely short-sighted because it damages the environment. They are destroying Malta’s quality of life. It’s crazy,” Alex Torpiano, a professor of architecture and urban design at the University of Malta, said.

This is not the first time Malta’s construction headache has reached global headlines. In October, the UK Times published an article that takes a look at Malta’s construction sector, focusing on the overdevelopment taking place in Gozo, where even UNESCO sites like Ggantija aren’t safe from development.

Still, a spokesperson from Malta’s environmental agency insisted that “Malta is not ‘overdeveloped’. 

Check out Lovin Malta’s Planning Web, the country’s first transparent and open platform letting you look at the ins and outs of Malta’s urban planning sector.

How can Malta halt its overdevelopment?

READ NEXT: WATCH: Repubblika President Won’t Leave Malta Like Manuel Delia Did After Facing Threats  

Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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