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Petition No.: 7 Signatures: 7571

Thirteenth Legislature (2017 - 2022)

Details - Online

Create a breathing space for the people of Malta: Make Manoel Island a National Heritage Park
Date petition closes for signatures
Creator of petition
Rampant development and exploitation of open spaces over the years has led to Gżira and its surrounding towns becoming overbuilt zones with little to no open public spaces. MIDI’s proposed development of Manoel Island promises more of the same.
The project threatens to lower the quality of life of thousands for the benefit of the few. Our main concerns about this project are:
• Destruction of a large part of the Gżira promenade, currently a year-round recreational meeting place for Maltese citizens and foreign visitors to our country;
• Obstruction of the world-famous promenade views across Marsamxett Harbour. If these views (which are proudly featured on Air Malta planes) are lost, the charm and draw of the Gżira promenade will be gone forever;
• Narrowing of the sea channel through land reclamation and extension of the Yacht Yard between Gżira and Manoel Island. This will bring industrial activity directly into a densely populated area;
• Removal of the only slipway and facilities in the Harbour will damage the traditional cultural setting of the creek and lead to the disappearance of small fishing and sailing boats by excluding boat owners of modest means who have used this slipway over the past 70 years;
• Extended period of heavy construction which will seriously affect the flow of traffic and have a heavy impact on the quality of life of those residing in the vicinity;
• Building of apartments for thousands more residents in an already overpopulated area will generate thousands more car trips and add to the existing air pollution in Gżira which contributes to the area’s high rate of asthma and health problems.
Wherefore I/we respectfully request the House of Representatives to
These consequences can be avoided. Past errors can be reversed, if the Government of Malta takes action towards, protecting what is left of our cultural heritage and natural environment in the area. Turn it into a National Heritage Park serving the nation and foreign visitors to our islands alike.
We are hereby requesting (appreciating the fact that urban green spaces are essential to citizens’ physical and mental health) that the Government of Malta:
• Turn Manoel Island into a wooded park with heritage buildings set in much-needed open green spaces;
• Retain and upgrade the Gżira promenade which has suffered from years of neglect and exploitation to the detriment of the public;
• Transform Manoel Island into a recreational zone for youths, families, hobbyists, our ageing population, tourists and the community at large;
• Save the iconic views from Triq Ix-Xatt, views which form part of our national heritage and are currently still enjoyed by all inhabitants of our islands;
• Upgrade the popular slipway for use by fishermen and boat owners of limited means thereby giving a new lease of life to Malta’s fading maritime heritage.
Closing remarks
This is a historic opportunity for our government to reverse the wrongs of the past and go down in history as champions of the people. Manoel Island is the last un-built area in the dense North Harbours conurbation; such a gem of architectural and natural heritage should rightly belong to all the people of Malta and Gozo.