MDA against blanket measure to stop demolition, excavation works in Gozo

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 January, 2024 at 11:51 am by Andre Camilleri

The Malta Development Association (MDA) said that it is against any blanket measure for a comprehensive ban on demolition and excavation activities in Gozo during the summer break, as suggested by the Gozo Tourism Association.

This proposal extends beyond the current break which encompasses specific streets listed by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). In a statement Saturday, MDA expressed its strong disagreement with the proposed blanket measure, highlighting the potential adverse impact on the livelihoods of employees and businesses involved in these activities.

The association contends that expecting businesses to remain idle for three months is economically untenable. The financial strain includes the inability to cover employee salaries, interest payments, licensing fees for trucks and equipment, and rent during the downtime.

Recognizing the potential ramifications on the tourism industry, MDA proposes constructive measures to improve and mitigate the situation:

Expand the ban to cover all types of construction activities, both public and private, in areas designated as “Entertainment Priority Areas” in Gozo’s Local Plan.

Establish transparent criteria for the list of roads subject to the demolition and excavation ban during the summer break on an annual basis.

Ensure that areas with high tourism accommodation are adequately represented, addressing inconsistencies in the current selection process.

Publicly disclose the list of selected streets and other decisions, including proposed measures, well in advance. This will enable investors and contractors to plan their schedules and transition to non-affected projects.

As a new rule, the MDA said the list should be published by the end of October the year preceding its implementation. MDA remains optimistic that GTA will consider and endorse these proposed changes for swift implementation, with the potential inclusion of the upcoming summer season.

The association believes that a collaborative approach will ensure a balanced and effective solution that addresses both the needs of the construction industry and the preservation of the tourism sector in Gozo.

MDA said it intended to engage in discussions with the Minister and relevant stakeholders to ensure that an adequate balance is met, fostering a collaborative resolution that accommodates the concerns of all parties involved.

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