Are revised Ta’ Qali plans in private or national interest? – KTP

Credit: Kamra tal-Periti

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Chamber of Architects Kamra tal-Pertiti has raised its concerns about revised plans for commercialising Ta’ Qali, saying that the Planning Authority may be pandering to the interests of a private landowner rather than the national interest.

In their response to the revised plans outlined in the Partial Review of the Ta Qali Action Plan, KTP said that intensifying development across this stretch of land, ‘is not the solution to the Authority’s claim that the existing industrial use is redundant.’

They add that, ‘the proposals appear to be directed towards appeasing a major private landowner and facilitating their interests than achieving any planning gains or safeguarding the national interest and that of the public at large.’

The plan proposes a Commercial Area across a stretch of land of 60,000 sqm next to the United States Embassy. The area would include buildings of 17.5 metres in height.

KTP argues that the Action Plan is, ‘premature and lacking in proper studies that would would normally arise in a serious and well considered approach.’

They explain that instead there should a leaf taken out of previous examples of rehabilitated inner-city and urbanised facilities rather than those outside urban areas.

This would ‘reinforce the desirability of city living and cut down on the vehicular traffic and the attendant pollution and traffic congestion that are inevitably caused by large regional commercial developments located outside the urban area.’

KTP goes on to explain that if there is to be re-development of the area, ‘It is therefore felt that the area should be re-developed into uses that are complementary to the sports facilities around the National Stadium, and to the adjacent Park tal-Familja. The emphasis on commercial development is therefore questioned in this regard, as is the extent to which the public interest and that of the environment in general were considered.’