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Heritage warning

The construction of more empty flats in heritage gardens harmed residents’ health and undermined Malta’s tourism policy, an environmental lobby group has warned.

In a statement, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar said the planning authority’s practice of only scheduling parts of heritage gardens made the construction of flats in such gardens possible.

It was referring to the recent approval of projects in the gardens of Villino Chappelle in St Paul’s Bay, Sliema’s Villa Bonici and Villa Mekrech in Għaxaq.

Yet the Government was doing its best to recover parts of the fortifications that were taken over by private individuals, the FAA said.

“It is just as unthinkable as building flats in Palazzo Parisio, a model of what can be achieved with such properties,” it said.

It praised what it called the recent move in favour of preserving heritage buildings but said Mepa was failing in its responsibility to ensure owners carried out basic maintenance of scheduled properties.

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