Watch: Fearne backs Fgura council in fight to save historic farmhouse

Updated 03:40 PM

Posted by Kunsill Lokali Fgura on Saturday, October 31, 2020

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne expressed his support for the Fgura local council’s last-ditch efforts to save a historic farmhouse from demolition after the relevant permit was confirmed on appeal.

The local council held a press conference on Saturday to highlight that the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal’s decision earlier this week did not mean the end of the efforts, and in reaction, Fearne – whose constituency includes parts of Fgura –wrote on social media that he agreed “100%” with the council.

“The Fgura local council has my full support,” he maintained.

At the press conference, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar coordinator Astrid Vella had asked for the relevant authorities to intervene and save the centuries-old structure at the heart of the locality.

Last remnant of old Fgura

The local council had long sought to convert the farmhouse and its surroundings into a cultural centre and green area in what is one of Malta’s most densely-populated localities.

The farmhouse is the last remnant of the old Fgura, which had been a rural hamlet on the outskirts of Tarxien before the development of contemporary Fgura in the latte rhalf of the 20th century.

Though the council’s efforts had led to the site receiving Grade 3 scheduling in 195, this protection was removed last year at the request of would-be developers: at least three previous attempts to deschedule it had failed.

The council has since commissioned a report which led it to apply for the property to be scheduled once more earlier this month.

Council unanimously agreed to continue struggle

Fgura mayor Pierre Dalli emphasised that the EPRT ruling was not the end of the council’s efforts to save the historic structure: the locality’s councillors have all agreed on keeping up the fight.

“The decision of the local council is unanimous and clear: to continue fighting to save this farmhouse in the best interest of Fgura, its residents and future generation,” Dalli said. “This is our mission, and I assure everyone that we will pursue it until the very end.”

The council is continuing to seek legal advice on the matter to explore all potential paths it can pursue.

“Should the farmhouse be destroyed, we don’t want future generations to say that we did not do our utmost to save the last remnant of old Fgura,” Dalli emphasised.