The Planning Authority has approved the development of the Central Link project with the Environment Resources Authority voting in favour of the controversial project.
The PA board voted in favour of the project by seven votes to three, despite residents and NGOs making their objection clear.
NGO representative Annick Bonello and Opposition representative Marthese Portelli, and the Attard local council representative voted against the project.
The PA’s decision comes even though an ERA report pointed out that nearly 48,466 square metres of agricultural land will be permanently lost.
The lost land includes 549 trees that are currently found alongside the roads being widened, 272 of which are protected.
Another major environmental issue brought up in ERA’s report involves the massive amount of construction waste, estimated at around 195,000 square metres, that will be generated in the process.
The project will restructure junctions and create bypass lanes between Mrieħel, Rabat, Attard and Ħaż-Żebbuġ. It will also widen existing roads in the area.
The trees are set to be replanted, however, recent evidence suggests that their odds of survival are slim.
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