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Buġibba and Qawra are practically slums, says real estate mogul

Frank Salt fulminates against lack of planning and state of decay

Real estate mogul Frank Salt. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Real estate mogul Frank Salt. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Areas such as Buġibba and Qawra had been built with no planning, leaving them to become almost “slums”, real estate mogul Frank Salt said.

Addressing a seminar on urbanisation by the Guardian of Future Generations, Mr Salt said these areas were already in a state of decay through lack of care and attention.

“Proper planning, rigidly controlled and implemented, could have given us a country that could have coped with all our success. We did not control our planning and now we have a hodgepodge,” he said.

“A modern-day slum has arisen that we have the nerve to call a holiday resort,” he added.

Mr Salt said a long-term master plan had been drawn out years ago but had not been stuck to rigidly.

“When I started my business in 1969, environmental plans had been drawn out, but over time these had been changed to everybody’s whims and fancies,” he said.

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There were areas designated for different developments – Qawra was supposed to be two high-rise detached blocks, surrounded by bungalows and two-storey maisonettes. Even in this “modern-day mess”, no efforts were being made to create green areas, he said.

A modern-day slum has arisen that we have the nerve to call a holiday resort

“So what did they do? They made up Kennedy Grove – which is pretty close to being a swamp,” he said.

Mr Salt lamented that no serious long-term plan was drawn out, with the resulting mess there is today.

“We have spoilt Malta over the years by sticking to the same principle of terraced buildings with no space between them,” Mr Salt said.

When apartments were applied for on the sides of the terraced houses at Tower Road, instead of making developers purchase three or four terraced houses and make a detached block of apartments, the easy road was taken, and terraced flats replaced terraced houses, he said.

Mr Salt called for a committee that could draw up a plan and implement it by law.

“We’ve had enough of committees being formed that just make suggestions that are ignored,” he said.

He also complained that so many rules and regulations were ignored.

“We have rules and regulations – but people just ignore them, and authorities don’t enforce them,” he said.

“What we can say, surely, is enough is enough,” he concluded.

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