In the interests of the favourite few – AD on massive development in St George’s Bay

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Today spokespersons from Alternattiva Demokratika addressed a press conference in Saint George’s Bay in Saint Julians about the massive development which will take place. Here public land was given away for peanuts for savage land speculation.

Slightly more than week from today the public consultation time-frame relative to the development proposed for the Institute for Tourism Studies site comes to an end. That development envisages a mix of tourism and residential development within a 37 floor residential tower, a 17 floor hotel, a Casino and a commercial complex.

Danika Formosa, AD spokesperson for Tourism and the Maritime Environment said:”Official documents indicate that there is an understanding between government and the developers that the consultation period will be kept to a minimum. This is not a good sign.”

“In this zone a number of other large development projects are being planned. If we limit our consideration to the Bay’s perimeter in a short space of time, according to the discarded Master Plan  a total of five large projects will be in hand, namely ITS, Villa Rosa (including Cresta Quay), Corinthia, Dragonara and  St George’s Park.”

“This signifies a strained infrastructure, with roads bursting at the seams and servces unable to cope.”

AD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said:”Around one year ago we participated in the public consultation on the Paceville Masterplan which addressed the interests of the developers and ignored completely existing residents and SMEs.  The public consultation saw many voice their concerns on the need to protect past achievements which should not be discarded. The Paceville Masterplan has fortunately gone back to the drawingboard.”

“Two particular concerns have to be addressed.

The first regards the fact that the concessions which the country continuously grants the tourism industry, as an economic priority are being used as a camouflage for land speculation through the development of a considerable number of residential high risers around the bay, some of which like the ITS development are already being sold and fetching millions when the planning process has barely started.

The second concern is around the substantial cumulative impacts on the road infrastructure, on residents in the area, on access to the coast which is already substantially limited and on the quality of life of all those visiting this area.”

“Given that small stretches of the coastline in this area are still undeveloped we point out that this is a unique opportunity to implement the Public Domain legislation approved recently by Parliament. It is an opportunity to ensure access to all to the coast.”