Din l-Art Helwa AGM – February 2017

March 18, 2017

REPORT ON THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF DIN L-ART ĦELWA HELD ON 25th FEBRARY, 2017

On Saturday 25th February, Din l-Art Ħelwa held its Annual General Meeting at its historical premises 133, Melita Street, Valletta.  Notwithstanding the difficulty of getting into the city because of Carnival celebrations, the meeting was well attended by many of the  members, keen to receive, first hand, an update  of the NGO’s activities and to show their unfailing support.

General Secretary, Mr Philip Mercieca, gave an overview of the restoration work on various sites carried out during 2016; the activities undertaken, such as various appeals and protests made to the relative authorities  for the protection of the  environment and heritage; as well as of the courtesy visits made and received and the fund raising events and talks held at the NGO’s premises and elsewhere.

Treasurer, Mr Martin Scicluna, gave an overview of the Din l-Art Ħelwa’s financial position, explaining where and how the funds are utilized for the good of our fair land.  The balance sheet as at December 31, 2016 was read and approved.

Much appreciated was the impassioned speech made by Executive President, Ms Maria Grazia Cassar who elaborated on what the vision of Din l-Art Ħelwa is and how a  tremendous amount of work  has been achieved by an  organisation that relies almost entirely on volunteers. ‘Why do we do it? What is in it for us, and where are we heading to? ‘, asked Ms Cassar? ‘We do it because we love our country and want to protect it and look after it.’

While reiterating that Din l-Art Helwa is an apolitical organization she stated that it will be relentless in advocating against a culture of laxed principles, against development in outside development zones, which she called,  ‘The cancer eating away at our countryside’.

‘We will always advocate sound long-term policies of sustainability and preservation of our fair land which will be enjoyed also in the distant future’, she stated, continuing in the vision of our Founder President, Judge Maurice Caruana Curran.  Addressing Members, volunteers, Council members and the public in general, Ms Cassar ended her speech saying, ‘This is the vision which we will realise together’.

 

In the presence of the assembly, the following three resolutions were read and approved:

 

RESOLUTIONS APPROVED BY THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF DIN L-ART HELWA, HELD ON SATURDAY FEBRUARY 2017, at 133 Melita Street, Valletta, at 11 a.m.

Rezoluzzjonijiet tal-Laqgha GENERALI ANNWALI TA’ DIN L-ART ĦELWA, IS-SIBT 25 TA’ FRAR, 2017, f’133, TRIQ MELITA, VALLETTA, FL-11am

 

The Protection of Valletta and its Skyline

The extraordinary universal value of the city of Valletta and its World Heritage status as a fortified Baroque City are under severe threat, in particular from skyscrapers planned too close to its walls, from new additions that mar its historic skyline,  and from inappropriate commercial developments that are rapidly destroying the integrity of its architecture and its overall dignity,

It is hereby resolved by the Annual General Meeting of Din l-Art Ħelwa held at 133 Melita Street, Valletta on Saturday 25th February 2017, that the Prime Minister, as the highest official in Malta responsible for planning, together with the Parliamentary Secretary in charge of Planning and Lands, as well as the Planning Authority are all urged to ensure that developers are urgently provided with stringent criteria that will preserve Valletta and its unique characteristics and skyline, also with regard to its buffer zone.   Furthermore, that the same authorities will step up enforcement to guarantee that such criteria are observed and that they will rigidly disallow sanctioning to developers who breach regulations.

 Il-Protezzjoni tal-Belt Valletta u l-Linja ta’ Profil (Skyline)

Il-valur straordinarju tal-Belt Valletta li bħala Belt Barokka hija rikonoxxuta bħala Wirt Dinji hija taħt theddid kontinwu, l-aktar minħabba bini għoli li huwa maħsub li jitla’ qrib is-swar, kif ukoll minħabba bini ieħor li jbiddel il-profil storiku, u żvilupp kummerċjali li ibiddel l-integrita`tal-arkitettura u d-dinjita` tal-post. B’riżoluzzjoni waqt il-Laqgħa Ġenerali Annwali ta’ Din l-Art Ħelwa, f’133 Triq Melita l-Belt Valletta fil-25 ta’ Frar 2017, Din l-Art Ħelwa tħeġġeġ lil Prim Ministru li huwa l-ogħla uffiċjal fil-pajjiż li huwa responsabbli għall-ippjanar, flimkien mas-Segretarju Parlamentari nkarigat mill-Ippjanar u l-Artijiet, kif ukoll l-Awtorita`tal-Ippjanar, biex jaraw li żviluppaturi jżommu ma kriterji stretti biex jippreservaw il-Belt Valletta, il-karatteristiċi uniċi tal-Belt u l-profil tagħha, kif ukoll iż-żoni ta’ madwarha. Barra minn hekk, l-istess awtoritajiet għandhom jaraw li dawn il-kriterji qegħdin jiġu mħarsa u ma jippermettux li jsiru tibdiliet illegali mill-iżviluppaturi li wara jiġu aċċettati.

 

The Demolition of Traditional and Historical Buildings

It is hereby resolved at the Annual General Meeting of Din l-Art Ħelwa held at 133, Melita Street, Valletta on Saturday 25th February 2017, that the Prime Minister, as the highest official in Malta responsible for planning and the preservation of cultural heritage, together with the Parliamentary Secretary in charge of Planning and Lands, as well as the Planning Authority, are all urged to prevent the unwarranted demolition of so many traditional and historic buildings that is taking place relentlessly, especially in urban conservation areas, but also in rural areas. This is causing an irreplaceable loss of the traditional architectural fabric and the cultural identity of Malta, and must be halted immediately. The restoration and conservation of traditional and historic buildings should instead be further encouraged.

It-twaqqiegħ ta’ Bini Tradizzjonali u Storiku

B’riżoluzzjoni waqt il-Laqgħa Ġenerali Annwali ta’ Din l-Art Ħelwa, f’133 Triq Melita l-Belt Valletta fil-25 ta’ Frar 2017, Din l-Art Ħelwa tħeġġeġ  lil Prim Ministru li huwa l-ogħla uffiċjal fil-pajjiż li huwa responsabbli għall-ippjanar, flimkien mas-Segretarju Parlamentari nkarigat mill-ippjanar u l-Artijiet, kif ukoll l-Awtorita`tal-Ippjanar biex ma jippermettux aktar it-twaqqiegħ ta’ bini storiku u tradizzjonali li qiegħed isir bla ħniena, l-aktar f’żoni ta’ konservazzjoni urbani, kif ukoll f’żoni rurali. Dan qiegħed iwassal għat-telf, darba għal dejjem, ta’ arkitettura tradizzjonali kif ukoll għat-telf tal-identita` kulturali ta’ pajjiżna, u dan irid jieqaf minnufih. Ir-restawr u l-konservazzjoni ta’ bini storiku għandu jiġi nkoraġġut aktar.

 

A Masterplan for High-Rise Buildings

It is hereby resolved at the Annual General Meeting of Din l-Art Ħelwa held at 133, Melita Street, Valletta on Saturday 25th February 2017, that the Prime Minister, as the highest official in Malta responsible for planning, together with the Parliamentary Secretary in charge of Planning and Lands, as well as the Planning Authority, should put permits for high rise developments on hold until a National Masterplan is approved and proper evaluations are carried out of the environmental, social and infrastructural impacts of such buildings. In the absence of a Masterplan, Din l-Art Helwa is especially concerned that no public consultation was carried out on the area of Mriehel when it was designated as a high-rise area and included in the Floor Area Ratio Policy of 2014.

 Pjan Nazzjonali għal Bini Għoli

B’riżoluzzjoni waqt il-Laqgħa Ġenerali Annwali ta’ Din l-Art Ħelwa, f’133 Triq Melita l-Belt Valletta fil-25 ta’ Frar 2017, Din l-Art Ħelwa tħeġġeġ  lil Prim Ministru li huwa l-ogħla uffiċjal fil-pajjiż li huwa responsabbli għall-ippjanar, flimkien mas-Segretarju Parlamentari ngarigat mill-Ippjanar u l-Artijiet, kif ukoll l-Awtorita` tal-Ippjanar biex jiefqu jikkonsidraw permessi għal bini għoli sakemm jiġi mfassal Pjan Nazzjonali li jikkonsidra l-impatt ambjentali, soċjali u infrastrutturali. Fl-assenza ta’ pjan nazzjonali Din l-Art Ħelwa hija specjalment imħassba li qatt ma saret konsultazzjoni pubblika dwar l-Imrieħel li ġie kkunsidrat bħala post fejn jista’ jsir bini għoli u li ġie inkluż fil-‘Floor Area Ratio Policy’ tal-2014.

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