A baffling decision not in the interest of the community – KA

The Church Environment Commission (KA) described itself as ‘baffled’ by the decision of the Planning Authority (PA) to approve the extensive project proposed by db Group at St George’s Bay. The KA had already tabled its objections for the development and feels that this decision warrants answers to some serious questions.

The KA asked how can the PA reconcile its decision with its mission of “acting on behalf of the community to provide a balanced and sustainable environment,” when one considers the thousands of objections leveled against this development that were disregarded. It asked what could be the underlying reason that would justify the brushing aside of these objections and in whose interest is the PA functioning.  Such a decision, said the KA, surely rules out the interest of the surrounding communities.

The KA said that the it cannot understand how the PA did not take this decision in the context of a masterplan and instead persist in approving development which wreaks havoc in communities . Such repeated inconsistencies in the PA’s decisions are surely not helping it to achieve its vision of “making Malta and Gozo a more pleasant and desirable place to live in”. It asked if the PA has succumbed to the pro-business at all cost bug as well?

“When, due to unbridled construction, the well-being of our citizens and communities become so clearly at risk, decisions should not be tainted by petty partisan politics…What Malta needs is not another political ping-pong match, but a concerted effort to promote a pro-community policy.” Said the KA.

It is indeed ironic that while the Planning Authority disregarded completely the justified concerns of communities affected by the proposed db Group project, it is now organising a conference in the first week of October with the title Planning for Livable Places. The KA concluded that it feels that our islands are heading towards a planning system which does not even give lip service to the needs of communities let alone to improve their livable place.

Read full statement.