Fgura resident Aldo Busuttil wrote a letter to Prime Minister Robert Abela, asking him to intervene to save one of the last farmhouses in the locality which dates back around 200 years.
In his letter, Mr Busuttil explained that the local council has been trying to protect this farmhouse for years, but since it might lose its appeal with the Planning Authority, he decided to take matters in his own hands.
Last year, a development application was filed by Trevor Buttigieg to demolish the existing building and raise the security perimeter wall. The local council objected to this application but last February, the Environment and Review Tribunal ruled that there was not enough evidence for the development not to take place. The case is now being appealed.
The farmhouse is located in Hompesch Street, opposite a local band club. The systems used by the Government and the Planning Authority, wrote Mr Busuttil, do not ensure that the farmhouse remains intact, even if it is of a high grade, previously having a Grade 3 stature.
The letter was also sent to the Leader of the Opposition, the Environment Minister, the Tourism Minister, the Fgura Local Council and to the media. Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri was also one of the addressees as he previously occupied the position of Fgura Mayor.
The concerned resident explained that the farmhouse is located in a private area and has been abandoned in the past years. High walls have been built around it which covered it completely. Since it is no longer visible, it has been left to rot, according to the resident.
He is suggesting that the Government buy this land, since the farmhouse is one of the last remains of the old Fgura, before it was modernised and commercialised. He made his case by saying that if the Government were to purchase this farmhouse, it would be restoring it and protecting it so that it may be enjoyed by the residents, the organisations in Fgura, as well as the rest of the general public. Busuttil also suggested that the farmhouse be converted into a museum and a community centre for meetings and lessons, which could also serve as a tourist attraction.
Busuttil went on to say that as a citizen living in one of the most traffic-congested roads in the country, he is conscious of the problems being faced by the residents in the locality, including health problems because of pollution. “In Fgura we don’t have a single public garden, and the locality is full of buildings, that have been built so high that even the church has been buried amongst them.” He reminded the Prime Minister that the first church in the town had been destroyed for the construction of the main road, and Punic tombs were lost in the process.
His last appeal to the Prime Minister was that Fgura has lacked an environmental project for years, and so, the Government should jump at this opportunity to compensate the people of Fgura in any way it can.
Mr Busuttil’s heartfelt appeal received a reply from Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Parnis who praised him for his dedication, and said that he is following the matter.