Business is bent on taking over the shoreline, Altenrattiva Demokratika Chairman Carmel Cacopardo said in a statement.
“It is now almost three years since Parliament, unanimously approved amendments to the Civil Code through which it tried to impress that it was strengthening coastal protection. These amendments, which we generally refer to as the Public Domain Law were enacted as a follow-up to the publication 7 years ago of the White Paper entitled: “The Public Domain. Classifying Public Property – Achieving a Qualitative Leap in Protection and Governance.”
Coastal protection signifies much more than physical clean-ups of accumulated rubbish, he said. “In the Maltese context it should also mean restricting development, which is the greatest threat.”
“Declarations made in Parliament in favour of the protection of the coast are in conflict with the development currently in hand along the St Julian’s coast.”
Notwithstanding the enactment of legislation which reinforced and updated the public domain regulation and governance framework, after almost three years, the situation gets worse every day, he said.
“The requests by environmental NGOs, to proceed rapidly with its implementation, have been placed on the back-burner as there is no political will to act. As far back as June 2016, environmental NGOs submitted documented requests relative to 23 coastal sites in order that these be protected in terms of the updated legislation. The Planning Authority has been procrastinating ever since, cautious as ever not to prejudice the interests of the development lobby which it scrupulously serves. The coast should be protected. It should be accessible to all, even in those cases where it is currently privately owned.”
“The Planning Authority has failed in its duty to protect the coast when it has already approved three different permits relative to this site, with a fourth one in the pipeline. When one considers the reports drawn up by the Planning Directorate relative to this development one does not find any reference to the need to protect the coast and to ensure that it is accessible. The coast belongs to all of us.”
“After business has been allowed to take over our pavements together with parking spaces which it has integrated the with their business, they are now bent on not just taking over the coast but also on taking over the sea. In view of these developments, Carmel Cacopardo invited retired judge Lino Farrugia Sacco to wake up from his slumber in order to ensure that the Lands Authority, which he chairs, wakes up and shoulders its responsibilities. ‘
Original article found on The Malta Independent