Moviment Graffitti welcomed the amendments in the second consultation document in connection with the ex-Jerma Palace Hotel Development Brief. However, it notes with disappointment that the proposed development is still grossly disproportionate to the size and infrastructure of the locality and offers little in terms of the well-being of the Marsascala residents, said the NGO.
In a statement the NGO Moviment Graffitti said it agrees with the reduction in the developable volume from the excessive 100,000sqm laid down in the October 2019 consultation to 65,000sqm. Although it explained how the proposed volume of this development (65,000sqm floor space) constitutes more than double the volume currently occupied by the ex-Jerma Palace Hotel (30,000sqm floor space).
“We agree with the proposed demolition of the abandoned building, which is not only an eyesore but also poses a danger to anyone who tries to access the coast. Nonetheless, it remains evident that this Development Brief has been drafted with the primary intention to accommodate the interests of a few developers and with little concern for the well-being of the residents.” – said Moviment Graffitti.
Moviment Graffitti stated that the Development Brief would allow buildings to rise up to eight storeys, which is significantly higher than the current ex-Jerma structure which means that the St. Thomas Tower will be overshadowed by the development.
Another point of concern highlighted by the NGO is that the Brief allows the use of the land for non-touristic purposes.
26,000sqm of floor space has been committed for residential purposes. Moviment Graffitti said this is in direct breach of a 1982 Parliamentary Act which decreed that the area in question could only be developed for touristic purposes.
“We also note that this Development Brief runs counter to the Local Plan by including two additional areas which are not included in the area delineated by the Local Plan,” said Moviment Graffitti which remains of the opinion that this Development Brief should prioritize the well-being of residents and enhance the town’s social, historical and environmental value, and not seek to accommodate developers’ interests.
The NGO concluded by saying that any development on this site should be exclusively used for touristic purposes and should not be larger than the current volume, height and footprint occupied by the ex-Jerma Palace Hotel.