No permit is needed to create a new road in Dingli that is meant to improve connectivity and create safer access for local resident, Infrastructure Malta has said as protestors converge in the street.
“As per applicable regulations, no development permits are required for the formation of new roads within development zones that are already included as schemed (planned) roads in the Planning Authority’s local plans, as is the case for the new street between Daħla tas-Sienja, Sqaq il-MUSEUM and Triq San Gwann Bosco,” an Infrastructure Malta spokesperson told Lovin Malta.
Their comments come as environmental activists protest alongside local residents against the new road.
“This street, which is approximately 100 metres long, has been scheduled to be formed years ago and should have already been built. Owners of land in the area have known about the formation of this road on their lands for many years,” they said.
Residents joined activists as they protested the new development, with one resident telling Lovin Malta that he did not object to the project itself, but the fact that “pristine agricultural fields” were being sacrificed.
“Some days ago I was informed by officials from Infrastructure Malta that the works will involve demolishing a room and adjacent fields currently owed and belonging to my family,” Gerald Lapira said. “With these works, not only will the Planning Authority and Infrastructure Malta be sanctioning the destruction of pristine agricultural fields and rooms used for farming purposes, but also ancient carob trees belonging to private tenants.”
In reaction to this, IM said they had “taken note” of residents’ concerns, both regarding the fields as well as other residents concerns over the inability of emergency vehicles to access the small road.
“We’ve started talks with the owners and tenants of the private and government lands in question, to facilitate the formation of the new street, which will provide improved access to these landowners as well,” they said.
However, they defended their decision to build the road.
“Local residents in Sqaq il-MUSEUM and other nearby areas in Dingli have long been calling for the formation and construction of this schemed road to improve connectivity and to create a safer access to numerous residences, which are currently only accessible through a narrow lane that does not permit firefighting and other emergency vehicles to reach their homes. The narrow section of Sqaq il-MUSEUM is located within Dingli’s urban conservation area, with old buildings on either side and cannot be widened. The only way this street can have a safer access is through the opening of the new street connecting it with Daħla tas-Sienja Street and San Gwann Bosco,” they said.
Works are set to begin on government land, before proceeding to other areas in the coming months.
“Eventually, to complete the formation of the road, three trees need to be uprooted or transplanted. They will be replaced with the planting of several other new trees, as per applicable regulations for such requirements,” IM said.