The residents of Marsascala deserve a tourism development that is proportional to the size and infrastructure of the locality, not the destruction of their local lifestyle.
This was pointed out by Moviment Graffitti in its submissions to the public consultation on the Development Brief issued by the Planning Authority for the area in which until 2007, the luxurious hotel Jerma Palace used to operate.
After extensive consultation with the Marsascala residents, Moviment Graffitti submitted a number of objections to the Development Brief, which, according to the organization, completely ignores the devastating effects of massive development on the community and the local environment. The Movement notes with approval the call for the demolition of the existing building, which is now a danger to anyone who tries to access the coast, and is also an eyesore for residents and tourists visiting the neighbourhood.
“It is clear that the Development Brief was drafted to accommodate applications already submitted to the Planning Authority” – this was emphasized by Moviment Graffitti, which criticized the Brief on the fact that it allows non-touristic use of the land on which the Jerma was situated, reflecting an application submitted in 2018 for the development of a building of 15-storeys, which includes a hotel, but also over 166 apartments and shops on the same site. Moviment Graffitti recalls that this land was granted by the government in the eighties with the main purpose of fostering tourism in the south of Malta.
In its submissions, Moviment Graffitti criticized the fact that the Development Brief encourages massive development, at a time when experts in the tourism industry are recognizing that mass tourism is no longer the best economic or social model, and that the future of tourism lies in smaller and more discerning investments, ones which do not to interfere with the lives of residents. This is the exact opposite of what the Development Brief allows on the site of the former Jerma Palace as it commits 100,000sqm for development.
The residents’ concerns have also been reflected in these submissions, as Moviment Graffitti praised the economic activity and spirit of community which have been created in this locality in the recent years. It is clear that development of this scale would not only impact negatively the infrastructure of Marsascala, but also the lives of residents, with little long-term benefit to the locality.
In a saturated market such as is the case in Malta, Moviment Graffitti stated that the government should not allow further development of this scale, with little to no concern for those who will be living next door.
Original article found on The Malta Independent