“Flagrant abuse of planning system”; 15 ENGOs file appeal against Central Link

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Fifteen ENGOs and residents yesterday filed an appeal against the controversial Central Link permit, stating that mostly the action is against the flagrant abuse of the planning system.

In a statement on behalf of the applicants, Bicycle Advocacy Group (BAG) insisted against the Central Link project.

Read: Central Link Project: Approved

The appellants also filed a request for the suspension of any works on site as they stressed that during the course of the processing of the application, various breaches of planning laws, policies, potential irreversible damage to Grade 1 Scheduled monuments, heritage buildings, principles of sustainability and the long-term detrimental effect on public health and safety were completely ignored.

Read: Central Link Project will lead to more cars and more traffic – PD

They added that the Planning Board made its decision on the basis of documentation which is unseen and unpublished and objectors were dismissed so that this application could be railroaded for permission.

According to Moviment Graffiti, this project will see the destruction of 48,000 square metres of agricultural land, as well as the uprooting of 600 trees and the termination of the jobs of 47 farmers.

Read: 47 farmers affected by Government project; residents appeal

The appellants stated that the applicant agency Infrastructure Malta has a track record of commencing works without the necessary permits, citing urgency or other constraints. They noted that this effectively circumvents all legal parameters and scrutiny and makes it close to impossible for objectors and appellants to obtain any form of remedy.

“If buildings are already demolished and agricultural land excavated and trees uprooted, appeals can become expensive exercises in futility.”

The appellants stated that this appeal was one for the health of residents, for sustainability, for the environment; but mostly one against the flagrant abuse of the planning system.

This appeal was signed by Bicycle Advocacy Group, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Ramblers’ Association of Malta, Green House, Moviment Graffitti, Malta Youth in Agriculture Foundation, Ralph Cassar, Malcolm Vella Haber, Edward Mallia, Stephen Pace, Cristino Antonio Scerri, Adrian Mallia, John Camilleri.