The Malta Developers Association and Front Ħarsien ODŻ held their first official meeting today at Palazzo Capua, Sliema.
The two bodies shared common ground on a number of issues and, according to MDA President Sandro Chetcuti, it was important for the two to work together in these areas as being pro-business and pro-environment.
Dr Michael Briguglio said in his intervention that land reclamation should only be resorted to when it was a national priority. The Paceville Master Plan must be seen within the context of a national master plan because Paceville is connected to other parts of the country and has an effect on them.
He appealed to government and the Planning Authority to publish correspondence because the Front is not against planned, sustainable development. On the new local plans that included ODŻ land, Dr Briguglio said this should not be used as a tool to win votes and called for more urban regeneration, especially in run-down areas of the country.
Mr Chetcuti urged for the environment and development not to be politicised any more. “We have many things in common and have always been against development in ODŻ, especially on pristine land in our countryside. The ODŻ policy was enacted in a good spirit and had lessened abuse but there is more that needs to be done to close loopholes,” he said.
He called on the Front’s support where the extension of existing quarries and the adoption of renewable energy policies are concerned. On land reclamation, Mr Chetcuti agreed with Dr Briguglio that these must be of national importance where there was long-term job creation and only for projects intended to attract foreign investment.
On the Paceville Master Plan, he said the mda has commissioned an expert study which it is submitting to the authorities as part of the public consultation.
The two bodies agreed to set up a working group to agree on common grounds to suggest the way forward for certain policies.