Il-kosta tagħna lkoll?

paceville-mp-land-use

Il-Masterplan għal Paceville huwa mifrux fuq medda kbira ta’ art. Għax Paceville tmiss ma’ Pembroke, mas-Swieqi u anke ma’ San Ġiljan. Imma għandha ukoll biċċa kosta twila ġmielha, li skond minn fejn tibda tkejjilha tista’ ġġebbed bejn tlieta u erbgħa kilometri.

Il-pjan jgħidilna li ser ikun possibli li tippassiġġa mal-kosta kollha.  Imma r-realtà hi li kosta kollha ta’ Paceville hi mimlija konċessjonijiet  li l-Gvern tul is-snin ta lill-privat għan-negozju, prinċipalment negozju konness mal-baħar jew mal-lukandi.

Waqt il-laqgħa ta’ nhar l-Erbgħa tal-Kumitat Parlamentari tal-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar, id-Dipartiment tal-Propjetà tal-Gvern ippreżenta pjanta li turi il-propjeta kollha li għandu l-Gvern f’Paceville, biċċa waħda tmiss ma l-oħra. F’xi każi l-pjanta turi bejn 4 metri u 5 metri mill-kosta l-ġewwa li huma riżervati għall-aċċess tal-pubbliku, għalkemm ħafna drabi m’huwiex ċar kif dawn il-passaġġi riżervati għalina lkoll tista’ tasal għalihom.

F’Mejju li għadda b’vot unanimu l-Parlament approva emendi għall Kodiċi Civili li permezz tagħhom ġie ċċarat li l-kosta hi propjetà pubblika. Jiġifieri din hi tagħna lkoll. Mill-inqas sa 15-il metru l-ġewwa minn fejn iħabbat il-baħar. Imma fejn il-mewġ jibqa’ dieħel iktar il-ġewwa, il-15-il metru jiżdiedu ukoll, skond is-saħħa tal-baħar.

Is-serjetà kienet titlob li billi l-ewwel abbozz tal-Master Plan ta’ Paceville ġie ippubblikat għall-konsultazzjoni pubblika bosta ġimgħat wara li l-Parlament esprima ruħu b’mod tant ċar, dan kellu jagħti kaz b’serjeta kbira ta’ dak li ddeċieda l-Parlament.

Id-deċiżjoni tal-Parlament dwar il-kosta u l-art ta’ mal-plajja tfisser ħafna iktar minn sempliċi passaġġ fejn jgħaddu n-nies. Imma sfortunatament, il-konsulenti li fasslu l-Master Plan ma fehmu xejn minn dan u minflok ma fittxew kif ser jgħaddu lura lin-nies it-tgawdija ta’ partijiet ikbar mill-kosta qed jipproponulna li jkompli r-renju tal-konkos u l-azzar bi blokki għoljin tletin sular li jistgħu jinbnew viċin tal-kosta.

Issa jew hemm min ma jafx x’inhu jagħmel inkella qed jippruvaw jgħaddu lil kulħadd biż-żmien. Għax jekk il-Parlament qed jaqbel magħna u qiegħed jgħidilna li l-kosta hi tagħna lkoll, kif jiġu dawn il-konsulenti tal-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar jgħidulna li din ser jibqgħu jgawdu minnha l-ftit, biex fiha tibqa’ issir l-adorazzjoni tat-torrijiet?

pubblikat f’Illum : 16 t’Ottubru 2016

Claiming back our coast

portomaso-st-julian-s

 

The  Paceville Master Plan is rightfully subtitled : Malta’s prime coastal location.  However, it considers the coast as a money-spinner and completely ignores Parliament’s decision earlier this year to codify the importance of the coastal area through its inclusion in legislation regulating the public domain.

The Paceville Master Plan issued for public consultation on 26 September was the first opportunity for the Planning Authority, on behalf of the government – which instructs it on policy initiatives – to flesh out the bones of the declarations made in the public domain legislation, approved by Parliament in May. That it did not do so casts considerable doubt as to whether the unanimous approval by Parliament of the public domain legislation is another political gimmick.

The Paceville Master Plan covers a large tract of land bordering Pembroke to the north, Swieqi to the west, St Julian’s to the South and coastal waters to the east.  The Paceville coastline is extensive: it adds up to anything between three and four kilometres, depending on the manner of measurement.

We have been told that the Paceville coastline will be accessible through a passageway that will be created along the coast. As a matter of fact, most of the Paceville coastline is already dotted with commercial development on land which is either public property or else is subject to servitudes in favour of the state. During last Wednesday’s sitting of Parliament’s Environment and Development Planning Committee, representatives of the Government Property Department presented a drawing indicating all this property along the Paceville coastline. In a number of instances, the drawing submitted indicated passageways of a width varying between four and five metres along the coast which are obviously intended for public access, even though it is not always clear how one would be able to find their points of entry and exit.

Parliament’s approval of amendments to the Civil Code approved in May lays robust legal foundations for the protection of the coast. The government has been entrusted with protect the coast on behalf of future generations, hence it belongs to all of us, in trust, on behalf of those future generations.  The coastal perimeter extends to a minimum of 15 metres from the shoreline. To this, the newly-approved legislation adds the foreshore, which extends as far as the reach of the largest wave – a reach that can be substantial in those parts of the coastline that are exposed to the open sea.

Large sections of the Paceville coastline are developed, but there are still small pockets which are either not developed or else contain development that is not intensive. A proactive Master Plan would have identified this as an opportunity for plotting the way forward in implementing a programme for the protection of the Paceville coast.  Unfortunately, it seems that the consultants to the Planning Authority were not briefed on the matter and as a consequence there is a real danger that this opportunity will be lost.

After the current public consultation is concluded, the Planning Authority will have to examine the comments made and consider the extent to which such comments can and should be taken into consideration in the second draft of the Master Plan.

The Authority should take on board the public domain legislation in respect of the coast and plan for its implementation when it revises the first draft of Paceville Master Plan.  In the short term, this should be done in relation to those areas which are still undeveloped or underdeveloped. I would also expect the Planning Authority to plan for the longer timeframe in respect of those sections of the coastline which are already intensively developed.

This leaves one other basic issue: land reclamation. I feel that, on a policy level, Labour’s land reclamation policy is the marine equivalent of the Nationalist’s widely criticised 2006 rationalisation exercise through which the boundaries of development were irresponsibly extended.  Labour will be extending the limits to development outwards towards the sea whilst the Nationalist-led government extended the said limits towards the countryside.

The proposed Master Plan for Paceville recommends land reclamation off the Dragonara/Portomaso coastline. This is an ill-thought proposal as the area identified for land reclamation will be an extension of possibly the most intensively developed part of the Paceville coast. This proposal should undoubtedly be revisited as commonsense suggests that rather than increasing development in the area, this should, in the long term, be curtailed.

The proposed Paceville Master Plan should be utilised as a planning tool for adequate coastal management. It can, at this point in time, also be the optimum vehicle for translating the public domain legislation into practical policies through which we can start the process of reclaiming the coast for future generations.

This is an opportunity which should not be missed.

published in The Malta Independent : 16 October 2016

Ma tagħmilx kompromess bi ħwejjeġ ħaddieħor

Zonqor proposal

L-aħbar li parti mill-Università Amerikana taż-Żonqor issa sejra fiż-Żona tal-Baċir numru 1 f’Bormla kienet aħbar tajba. Din kienet deċiżjoni ta’ kuraġġ li għalkemm ġiet tard għandna nkunu kuntenti biha. Hi deċiżjoni li ser tagħmel il-ġid lill-Bormla. Mhux biss għax ser tkompli l-proċess tar-riġenerazzjoni ta’ din il-Belt imma ukoll għax ser tħajjar lil dawk bi propjetà madwar il-baċir biex huma ukoll jipparteċipaw f’dan il-process.

Jibqa’ l-iżvilupp fiż-Żonqor li naqas sostanzjalment minn kif kien propost oriġinalment.

Hu tajjeb li 13,000 metru kwadru ġoż-zona tal-iżvilupp fiż-Żonqor ser jiffurmaw parti mill-proġett. Imma hu ħażin li l-bqija u ċjoe 18,000 metru kwadru ta’ żvilupp ser isiru ODZ, barra miż-żona ta’ żvilupp.

Wieħed għad irid jeżamina b’iktar reqqa l-impatti fuq ir-residenti ta’ Marsaskala b’mod partikolari taż-żona residenzjali (dormitorju) tal-Università. Bla dubju ser ikun hemm impatti mhux mixtieqa fuq ir-residenti ta’ Marsaskala simili ghal dawk li jġarrbu ir-residenti tas-Swieqi mill-istudenti tal-Ingliz.

Tajjeb li l-Gvern iċċaqlaq mill-posizzjoni tiegħu. Semgħa dak li qalet is-soċjetà ċivili. Iżda mhux biżżejjed. Wara kollox ma tagħmilx kompromess bi ħwejjeġ ħaddieħor.

Kunsilli Lokali 2012 : il-kandidati ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

Gonzi u l-White Rocks: l-interessi personali u l-profitti

 

Lawrence Gonzi kien rappurtat dalgħodu mit-Times li wieġeb għall-kritika ta’ Paul Abela (ex Sindku Nazzjonalista tas-Swieqi u illum President tal-GRTU) dwar il-proġett tal-White Rocks billi qal li dan (Abela) għandu interessi personali u interessi ta’ profitt u li l-kritika tiegħu għall-proġett tal-White Rocks hi motivata minn dan.

Mur obsor, kemm hu għaref il-Prim ! Mhux ovvja li min (flimkien ma ħaddieħor) tefa’ offerta li wara proċess twil ta’ negozjati ġiet aċċettata jfittex li jħares l-interessi tiegħu.

Paul Abela fl-artiklu tiegħu  ippubblikat fit-Times of Malta tal-14 ta’ Lulju 2010 qal li l-Gvern kien għadu marbut mal-consortium bl-isem Costa San Andrea li miegħu kienu saru negozjati wara sejħa għall-offerti fl-1999.

Bil-mod kif qed jitkellem Lawrence Gonzi qiesu li dawk li magħhom qiegħed jinnegozja l-Gvern tiegħu ġejjin jagħmlu l-karita’. Dawn għall-profitti ukoll ġejjin, profitti li biex jimmaterjalizzaw talbu art li fuqha jkunu jistgħu jinbnew 300 appartament. Il-fondi ġġenerati mill-bejgħ tal-appartamenti jagħmlu tajjeb kemm għall-profitti kif ukoll għall-ispejjes biex jinbena dak li Lawrence Gonzi qed isejjaħlu kumpless sportiv, imma li fir-realta’ għadu mhux ċar eżatt x’ser ikun.

Il-mistoqsijiet mhux imwieġba mill-Gvern ta’ Gonzi qed jiżdiedu, u issa magħhom żdiedu dawk ta’ Paul Abela : għadu marbut mal-consortium Costa San Andrea jew le ?  

Għal uħud mill-mistoqsijiet l-oħra, ara ukoll fuq dan il-blog :

 3 ta’ Lulju                 Land Speculation at White Rocks

13 ta’ Ġunju                 The White Rocks Project