Updated: Communities come together to request urgent Corinthia debate


Update (08/02/2019) :

Following the Environment and Development Planning Committee as requested by NGOs, residents’ groups and three Local Councils the draft deal to hand over hundreds of thousands of square metres of land to the Corinthia Group to develop into a six-star hotel, apartments and retail space in St Julian’s has been sent back to the drawing board.

 


Communities come together to request urgent Corinthia debate

A large number of NGOs, residents’ groups and three Local Councils have written (email attached) to the Honourable Alexander Muscat, Chairman of the Environment and Development Planning Committee, requesting an urgent meeting of the Committee to discuss the imminent concession of title, land and environmental rights to the Corinthia group (IHI).

They stated that the scope, terms and conditions of any agreement or concession reached in this regard will have repercussions on all stakeholders, the public and the natural environment, and that these repercussions will be direct and will contribute to their quality of life. In accordance with the Aarhuus Convention, signed and ratified by the Maltese Government, it is an established principle that early public participation, when all options are still open, is a requisite when decisions of such magnitude are being made.

Moreover, they stated that the public has a right to know whether the necessary studies for such a massive development have been conducted and concluded. Although this is not a planning application, the draft agreement with the Corinthia group refers to reclamation of the seabed and lists other factors which would effectively render the obtainment of a planning permission a fait accompli.

Since the signing of the agreement is imminent, the NGOs, residents’ groups and Local Councils have asked for an urgent convening of a meeting of the Environment and Development Planning Committee, with the presence of the relevant bodies involved in this concession, in order to ensure scrutiny and the public’s right to information.

The request was made by the following:
Local Councils: Pembroke, Swieqi and St. Julian’s
NGOs: Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Moviment Graffitti, BirdLife Malta, Żminijietna – Voice of the Left and the Ramblers Association
Residents’ Groups: Residents of Pembroke, St. Julians, Tal-Ibraġġ, St. Andrews, Sliema, Għargħur and Baħar iċ-Cagħaq.
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Komunitajiet jingħaqdu flmikien sabiex jitolbu dibattitu urġenti dwar il-Corinthia

Numru kbir ta’ għaqdiet, gruppi tar-residenti u tliet Kunsilli Lokali kitbu (l-email mehmuża) lill-Onorevoli Alexander Muscat, Chairman tal-Kumitat Permanenti dwar l-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar tal-Iżvilupp, sabiex jitolbu għal laqgħa urġenti tal-Kumitat dwar il-konċessjoni imminenti ta’ drittijiet fuq l-art u l-ambjent lill-grupp Corinthia (IHI).

Huma qalu li l-iskop, it-termini u l-kundizzjonijiet ta’ ftehim jew konċessjoni bħal din se jkollhom riperkussjonijiet fuq il-partijiet interessati, il-pubbliku u l-ambjent naturali, u li dawn ir-riperkussjonijiet se jkunu diretti u se jimpattaw il-kwalità tal-ħajja. Skont il-Konvenzjoni Aarhus, li ġiet iffirmata u irratifikata mill-Gvern Malti, huwa prinċipju stabbilit li l-parteċipazzjoni tal-pubbliku fi stadju fejn l-għażliet kollha għadhom miftuħa, huwa rekwiżit meta decizjoniet daqshekk importanti jkunu qed jittieħdu.

Qalu wkoll li l-pubbliku għandu dritt ikun jaf jekk l-istudji meħtieġa għal żvilupp daqshekk massiċċ sarux u ġewx konklużi. Għalkemm din mhijiex applikazzjoni għal żvilupp, l-abbozz tal-ftehim mal-Corinthia jirreferi għar-reklamazzjoni ta’ qiegħ il-baħar u fatturi oħra li, fil-prattika, jagħmlu l-kisba ta’ permess għall-iżvilupp bħala fait accompli.

Minħabba li l-iffirmar ta’ dan il-ftehim huwa imminenti, l-għaqdiet, il-gruppi tar-residenti u l-Kunsilli Lokali talbu għal laqgħa urġenti tal-Kumitat Permanenti dwar l-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar tal-Iżvilupp, bil-preżenza tal-entitajiet involuti f’din il-konċessjoni, sabiex id-dritt tal-pubbliku li jkun infurmat, u l-iskrutinju meħtieġ, ikunu żgurati.

It-talba saret minn:
Kunsilli Lokali: Pembroke, Swieqi u San Ġiljan
NGOs: Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Moviment Graffitti, BirdLife Malta, Żminijietna – Voice of the Left u Ramblers Association
Gruppi tar-residenti: Residenti ta’ Pembroke, San Ġiljan, St. Andrews, Sliema, Għargħur u Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq