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Watch: Some old buildings can't be restored, it's about money, says construction boss

Sandro Chetcuti says he declared his conflict of interest in advisory role

Several of the picturesque abandoned and damaged buildings being torn down for new development cannot be restored, according to construction magnate Sandro Chetcuti. 

"Some buildings can be restored. But there are several others that have been damaged beyond repair - repairing them won't make them viable. It all boils down to money," the Malta Developers Association president said.

Mr Chetcuti was fielding questions on Times Talk in the wake of protests that several old buildings in Malta were being torn down indiscriminately. 

Read: Restorer’s last ditch attempt to spare historic buildings from demolition

Read: Oldest Mġarr buildings risk being turned into flats

The public should raise the alarm bells when it realised old buildings have been abandoned and neglected and not only when there is an application to develop them, he told Times of Malta's online editor Herman Grech.

Mr Chetcuti admitted that certain localities have long been ruined and the environment does not lend itself to restoring certain standalone properties. 

"It's not right to force a person to restore a building with the environment around it... it doesn't make sense," pointing out that the problems with planning in the sector were conceived through the controversial 2006 radicalisation plans. 

He rejected claims that a lot of today's new buildings are tasteless - on the contrary, he described some projects being developed as "beautiful".

The MDA boss also defended his appointment as a consultant to Chris Agius, the parliamentary secretary for planning and the property market.

"I can't give advice on the best way to grow artichokes, I can give advice on property," he said, adding that most officials serving on different government entities and associations in Malta had a conflict of interest - the important thing is that they declared it. 

 

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