Last Updated on Saturday, 15 May, 2021 at 1:16 pm by Andre Camilleri
The communities of Swieqi and Mellieħa will be benefitting from an investment in embellishment projects in their localities.
This was announced by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia in the presence of the Chairperson of the Development Fund Committee Perit Vincent Cassar, the Swieqi Mayor Noel Muscat and the Mellieha Mayor Dario Vella.
Minister Farrugia said that a total of €355,000 will be invested by the Planning Authority (PA) through its Development Planning Fund (DPF).
“We are working towards creating livable environments and happier communities. Through various initiatives, we are creating and encouraging better recreational areas and healthier urban environments. For these projects, the DPF is being used to improve the urban landscape, provide better recreational areas and minimise light pollution,” Minister Farrugia said.
In the locality of Swieqi, the PA will be funding the embellishment of Esprit Barthet Garden and its surroundings. The garden which is surrounded by Triq l-Iskud, Triq il-Barmil and Triq Habb il-Qamh, located at the upper-end of L-Ibraġġ, will not only be made larger but will also be upgraded with new paving, landscaping works, urban furniture, child-friendly adventure equipment and seating facilities. The project for which the PA will be funding close to €153,000 will also include traffic management improvements around the garden area.
The second project the PA will be funding in Swieqi is an extension to the clubhouse which is existent in the public garden adjacent to a tennis court in Triq il-Ħemel. The extension for which the PA is funding €80,000, will provide a number of sports and cultural organisations that are set up in the locality with much-needed office space, meeting rooms and a multi-purpose room for training, seminars and lectures.
In the locality of Mellieha, the PA will be funding near €128,000 for improved street lighting. The nine streets which will benefit from this project include Sqaq Nru 1 Triq il-Muna, Triq il-Barkazza, Triq iż-Żebbuġ, Triq il-Ġojjin, Triq il-Gardell, Triq il-Bufula, Triq il-Bilbla, Daħlet is-Sardinell and Daħlet id-Dalji. The design of the lamp posts will be in keeping with the character of the locality of Mellieħa and minimise light pollution. This is the third time the PA is funding improved street lighting in this locality, previously in Triq il-Qortin and Triq Għajn Żejtuna.
The Minister reiterated that the scope of the DPF was widened last year to include green and blue infrastructure. “Our aim is to support projects which improve our urban environment and in turn our quality of life, and those which fall in line with our vision for intelligent planning and greener urban infrastructure. This fund, which was reformed last year, provides local councils and NGOs with the necessary financial support for them to be proactive and undertake projects that are aimed at improving the wellbeing, environment, and social dimension of our towns and villages.
Perit Vincent Cassar, Chairperson of the Development Fund Committee, said “All three projects, once completed, will make a difference to the quality of life and living environment of the locality. The locality of Swieqi has grown at a very fast rate over this past decade and so the need for investment in better recreational spaces and community/sports facilities, such as the projects we are funding today, will serve to mitigate the development pressures that this locality has been under.”
Perit Cassar appealed to local councils, NGOs and other organisations to come forward with urban green projects. “We are eager to fund local projects which have at their core sustainable ecology, the health of the community and a vision for long-term success. We are all out to encourage new methods of introducing greenery into Malta’s urban environment to purify the air, reduce ambient temperature and enhance the community’s well-being”, he concluded.