Fifteen ENGOs and residents yesterday filed an appeal against the controversial Central Link permit which will see the take-up of nearly 50,000 square metres of agricultural land, the uprooting of several hundred trees and the demolition of vernacular buildings of heritage value.
The appellants also filed a request for the suspension of any works on site as they stressed that during the course of the processing of the application, various breaches of planning laws, policies, potential irreversible damage to Grade 1
Scheduled monuments, heritage buildings, principles of sustainability and the long-term detrimental effect on public health and safety were completely ignored. Consultees gave their supposedly “expert opinion on outdated plans, the Environmental Impact Assessment is rife with inaccuracies, contradictions and misleading statements. The Planning Board made its decision on the basis of documentation which is unseen and unpublished and objectors were dismissed so that this application could be railroaded for permission.
The appellants noted that the applicant agency Infrastructure Malta has a track record of commencing works without the necessary permits, citing urgency or other constraints. That this effectively circumvents all legal parameters and scrutiny and makes it close to impossible for objectors and appellants to obtain any form of remedy. If buildings are already demolished and agricultural land excavated and trees uprooted, appeals can become expensive exercises in futility. That the applicant agency should not be permitted to exercise untrammelled power unbound by the laws which regulate everybody else thought for principles of sustainability.
The appellants stated that this appeal was one for the health of residents, for sustainability, for the environment – but mostly one against the flagrant abuse of the planning system.
- Bicycle Advocacy Group VO/0859
- Din l-Art Helwa VO/008
- Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar VO/101
- Friends of the Earth Malta VO/91
- Ramblers’ Association of Malta VO/0024
- Green House VO/0296
- Moviment Graffitti VO/0126
- Malta Youth in Agriculture Foundation VO/0823
- Ralph Cassar
- Malcolm Vella Haber
- Edward Mallia
- Stephen Pace
- Cristino Antonio Scerri
- Adrian Mallia
- John Camilleri