Midi plc, the company which holds the title to Manoel Island, has condemned the “unlawful” actions that took place over the weekend by Kamp Emergenza Ambjent and the Gzira Local Council, labelling their behaviour as “breaking and entering into private property”.
Midi said the “irresponsible actions” of some led to a number of individuals forcefully gaining access to heritage buildings and resorting to vandalism, including at Fort Manoel and St. Anthony’s Chapel. The Company has proceeded to notify such events to the local police authorities for the necessary criminal proceedings to be instituted against all offenders.
“Contrary to what has been stated and reported, the law does not seek to undermine private property rights. There is no provision or obligation on individuals to provide access over their private property to the foreshore. The Company deplores the actions of publicly elected officials who instead of seeking adequate recourse at law, resort to unlawful acts by breaking into private property, and exposing them to vandalism and damages.”
Midi explained that following years of neglect, the Government of Malta had called on the private sector to undertake the development of Manoel Island and the Tigné Point sites, two brown field sites which included a number of heritage buildings in dire need of restoration.
Following 7 years of negotiations, in June 2000, MIDI was granted title to the sites. This deed was unanimously approved in Parliament by both sides of the House. Over the last 16 years, MIDI has invested in excess of €400,000,000 on both sites and continues to meet its obligations in terms of law and in terms of the agreement with the Government of Malta.
“With the development of the Tigne Point project nearing completion, the Company has recently announced the engagement of Foster + Partners as master planners for the Manoel Island development,” Midi’s CEO Luke Coppini said.
Midi said it will continue to work together with the Government of Malta with regard to its projects and will be taking the necessary steps in terms of law to safeguard its interests and those of its stakeholders.