“Abroad, we have to think about earthquakes. Here, we need to think about the structures around us and how they were built.”
Malta Developers Association president Sandro Chetcuti has reacted to this morning’s wall collapse in Ħamrun by saying he is “very worried” and would like to see a change in the law immediately.
“Malta has no proper archive of how structures were built 30, 40 years ago so before excavating alongside another property, there must be a proper structural investigation conducted. Since this is not being done properly, we need a law that enforces it. You should not be allowed to build near another property unless you are 100% sure that you will not cause any damage,” he told Lovin Malta when contacted.
“Abroad, when they build they have to think about earthquakes. Here, we need to think about the structures around us and how were built. You cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach, with standard copy-paste method statements.”
Chetcuti was initially hesitant to comment, saying he was preparing a statement and did not want to rush to conclusions and that Lovin Malta should contact the Chamber of Architects.
He also said that the cause of this morning’s collapse was different to the previous incidents in recent months. “Every case is different,” he said.
However, he was adamant that MDA was taking the situation very seriously.
“MDA is united with the people and our first priority is to protect third party rights, not business,” he said.
“The government needs to act now. It cannot drag its feet,” he added.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is meeting stakeholders at noon to discuss the matter, in a meeting that was scheduled before this morning’s incident.
“People cannot be living in fear,” Chetcuti said on site.
“I’m shocked by what happened,” Chetcuti said. “Immediate action has to be taken. We will back whatever the Prime Minister decides.”
Asked by Lovin Malta whether there were serious issues within the construction industry following a series of building collapses, Chetcuti merely responded with a “yes”. However, he insisted that all concerns will be addressed.