Blogs

09 Aug

The Singapore Solution

by Petra Caruana Dingli Last week I was caught in traffic on my way to an evening event in Valletta. There were road closures for the Msida festa. Every morning, cars are stuck in roads around San Ġwann. At Paola, delays have worsened again. So, what’s new? Road congestion keeps growing and nobody seems able to tackle it. The Transport Minister is...

27 Jun

The Ta Cenc referendum

by Petra Caruana Dingli The application for development at Ta’ Ċenċ in Gozo has haunted the planning authority’s corridors for 20 years. It lurks in dark corners, occasionally startling nervous planning officers by appearing on a desk, or opening an old file or cupboard like a resident poltergeist. It has courted controversy and been opposed by the public at every stage. The...

18 Jun

More on highrise

by Petra Caruana Dingli Believing that high-rise will take the pressure off the countryside is wishful thinking. Applications for construction in rural areas continue relentlessly, for petrol stations, schools, old people’s homes and more. Small and large permits are continually granted outside the development zone, eating the countryside away, piece by piece. At Żonqor, a chunk of rural land will soon make...

17 Jun

Abandoned rural buildings

by Stanley Farrugia Randon Our islands are riddled with abandoned rural buildings which are a gem of architecture. They vary from farmhouses to small rooms used for storing agricultural implements. Most of them still boast of original features of vernacular architecture and the attentive eye can still spot the xorok, the kileb, the roundels sculptured in stone, and...

12 Jun

Wied Ghomor

by Joanna Spiteri Staines Hats off to a unanimous decision by the Planning Authority board, chaired by Vince Cassar, in refusing the so called “rehabilitation of a quarry in Wied Għomor” to be used as an old people’s home. It is indeed heartening to see an entire board of people from different bodies and representing different interests coming together to protect the...

15 May

Wied Ghomor & Zonqor

by Petra Caruana Dingli It is welcome news that the Planning Authority board has refused to grant a permit for a large development in Wied Għomor valley. It is especially positive that the board listened to many residents and NGOs. The environmental lobby can easily slip into feeling that it is talking to the wall. Many of its concerns are routinely...

06 May

Contrails or Chemtrails?

by Stanley Farrugia Randon Many people are wondering what the many aeroplane trails they are observing over our islands could be. Contrails are normal as they are caused by aeroplane engine exhaust and form due to condensation (hence the name contrails) of engine water vapour which meets the low ambient temperature at high altitudes. Contrails contain pollutants but since...

26 Apr

An Appeals Fiasco

When the Mepa demerger laws were launched, many concerns raised by NGOs and other prominent voices were shrugged off. One of the worries is linked to appeals. Government authorities can simply be ignored by the new Planning Authority if they do not give their expert opinion on planning applications within 30 days. In the new system, they can then lodge a...

13 Apr

National Parks for Malta

Malta is a beautiful country. it is a small country and it is also one of the most populous countries in the world. This makes what we have all the more precious. Our countryside is quite spectacular in its variety. From tilled fields and lush valleys to harsh plains or xagħri, the countryside changes and develops with surprising rapidity. It is...