During the parliamentary committee meeting this week, Front Ħarsien ODZ was appalled to hear of the way in which Mott MacDonald was awarded the Paceville Master Plan contract. The PA originally called for expressions of interest for a consultation role on Paceville’s transport strategy alone; eventually this morphed into the Master Plan project, which stipulates building height and proposes land reclamation as well as other infrastructural changes.
“If, after a contract is awarded, the terms of reference change in such a drastic way, then the tender must be reissued and the competition must start again with these new terms. Otherwise, it amounts to a direct order from the PA to Mott MacDonald, which raises strong suspicion.”
Moreover, Front decries the potential conflict of interest since Mott MacDonald were, at the time, also engaged on the Mercury House Project, which stands to gain considerably from the Paceville Master Plan. During the meeting, it emerged that this Master Plan merely accommodates proposals that had already been made by individual businesses interests, and that at no point were residents or civil society consulted.
Front insists that to expropriate property for private interests is illegal and in contravention of human rights, and reiterates its call for a National Master Plan to be drawn up, before local plans are amended.
“This Master Plan, which cost the taxpayer EUR300,000, had now turned out to be merely a “draft”.” Front is convinced that had the government consulted civil society before rushing with its plans, far less time and money would have been wasted on this highly unjust proposal.