Modifications to plans in Midi project of concern - Din l-Art Helwa
Din l-Art Helwa has expressed concern about the modifications to plans in the MIDI project which envisage further construction of high rise blocks.
The organisation said that this was being done without any public consultation and without communicating clearly the results of the EIA process, measures which should ascertain proper consideration for the inhabitants of the surrounding neighbourhood.
The concern rose from the fact that there was an absence of a declared policy by Mepa regarding high rise development.
Din l-Art Helwa said that the density of buildings within the Tigne and Qui-si-sana peninsula, as well as many parts of Sliema, had already reached critical proportions so that the quality of life of the inhabitants was being profoundly degraded with no appropriate infrastructural provision to reduce pollution and traffic and no planning effort to protect the last of their open spaces.
The additional development being proposed to this already densely built up area, backed by the bulky construction mass created by the Fort Cambridge buildings and the eventual proposed Town Square, would continue to add to the discordant and negative impact they already had on the unique vista of the world heritage city of Valletta and its harmonious skyline.
"This is already close to being totally obscured from many parts of Sliema and is severely compromised from the Three Cities," it said.
Din l-Art Helwa reiterated its position on the existing so-called 'Floor Area Ratio' policy which gave scope to abuse and misinterpretation and which did not provide for appropriate development as could be seen by the reduced visibility and quality of light in many of Sliema's streets.
"Although Mepa had presented a draft policy to cabinet back in 2006 which addressed many of the existing problems, it appears that there is a lack of political will to approve these changes.
"Government is, therefore, strongly urged to adopt these reforms immediately and, until it has done so, to freeze all developments pending the Structure Plan review and to establish a stringent policy on density and high-rise construction without further ado," Din l-Art Helwa said.