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Planning Authority Approves Road Widening Project Amidst Reports That This Will Uproot Malta’s Biggest Fig Tree

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Malta’s Planning Authority (PA) approved a project which will seek to improve connectivity between the Roman Villa and the lower part of Rabat, amidst reports from NGO Moviment Graffitti that this will result in the uprooting of Malta’s biggest fig tree.

PA’s project will also address concerns that parts of Triq l-Għeriexem are not structurally safe and include the construction of a new promenade.

The implementation of this project will see said road being widened, which will inadvertently lead to adverse effects on the adjacent valley.

“To mitigate the impact on the adjacent valley, the extension will be supported using piles rather than a gravity-retaining structure,” the Planning Authority said.

“The Board specified that the compensatory planting of trees, which will be determined by ERA, must be carried out within the locality of Rabat.”

In light of this, Moviment Graffitti took to Facebook to report that the widening of Triq l-Għeriexem will “uproot Malta’s biggest fig tree, destroy important vegetation, and obliterate lush tree gardens.”

The Rabat Local Council had raised concerns about Triq l-Għeriexem, which is allegedly not structurally safe.

According to Moviment Graffitti, Rabat Mayor Sandro Craus, voted in favour of said project.

The NGO’s Facebook post caused quite a stir online, amassing 300 reactions in a couple of hours.

Concerned commenters were quick to express their disappointment at the Planning Authority’s alleged disregard to the environment, with one commenter saying “From the central link project to this project, they seem intent on destroying what’s left of the rural character of Rabat.”

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