FAA backs MPs’ proposals to find another location for AUM dormitory

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Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar supported the idea of ​​government deputy Glenn Bedingfield to find an alternative site for the construction of a dormitory on the campus of the American University of Malta.

Bedingfield had recently suggested that the “Fortizza tas-Salvatur” in Kalkara or the “Palazz tal-Kaptan tal-Galjuni” on the Birgu seafront could be considered as alternative locations.

The two abandoned sites are in private hands and the owners of Fortizza tas-Salvatur are reported to be ready to negotiate with the government, the FAA said.

The Fort offers a usable area of ​​c. 8,500 m² and is easily accessible by a good road infrastructure, built for Smart City.

The FAA said it still strongly opposes a request to build additional floors on the Knights Building at Dock One and to build an administrative block between the British and the Knights Building, including the public staircase, as well as extensions on the public car. to park.

“All this will lead to the loss of open spaces in the heart of the Three Cities and to the privatization of the Cottonera Waterfront. The planning authority should strive to provide more open spaces that are so essential to the health of residents, especially in densely built up urban areas like the Three Cities, and not allow those that exist today to be recovered for private use and speculative gain. to the detriment of the inhabitants of Cottonera, ”he said.

Through the acquisition and total loss of the remaining open spaces around the Dock One area, this proposal is an example of the worst planning practice that will have a direct negative impact on the quality of life and amenities of Les Trois Cités. , and should be refused by the competent authority. However, despite the fact that the proposal violates several PA policies, the planning authority’s case manager recommends approval of the application during the September 12 hearing, the FAA said.

Proposing alternative sites for the AUM is not new and indeed both the FAA and the NIFS group have made a series of site recommendations including the Fortizza tas-Salvatur in reports written in 2015.

“Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar hopes the government will see the sense of moving both the dormitories as well as the proposed AUM administrative building between the British and the Knights’ Building. This will have the added benefit of restoring the historic ‘Fortizza tas-Salvatur’ or the ‘Palazz tal-Kaptan tal-Galjuni while freeing up Dock One for uses which will have greater socio-economic benefit than AUM. This would avoid the construction of a new educational building along Triq 31 ta’Marzu as the new wing of the Knights building, while the public staircase should be left as is, open and accessible to the public. As indicated on the commemorative plaque, the public staircase was built with EU ERDF funds for the specific use of the local community, as a citizens’ right to “accessibility and mobility”. For a change, let’s put citizens ‘rights ahead of developers’ demands. “


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