FAA calls on PA to refuse demolition of Gozitan heritage in Zebbug
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Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) has said that it strongly objects to an application submitted to the Planning Authority, requesting the complete demolition of "two pristine traditional dwellings in the village core of Zebbug, Gozo, only to be replaced with the construction of a new hotel."
FAA maintained that these properties serve as invaluable typologies of the island's building tradition, and should be protected at all costs.
The NGO urged the Planning Authority to uphold the island's development guidelines as set out through the Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED), by protecting our cultural built heritage against unjustified demolition.
"Furthermore the PA must ensure that the SPED's fundamental aim of sustainable development is upheld. Demolition of traditional vernacular buildings is an unsustainable practice, especially given the scarcity of our local stone and can under no reasonable interpretation be considered as pro-environmental or energy efficient."
FAA called upon the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage "to reconsider its position, after having given its blessing for this destructive application, despite the two properties already being recognised by the authority as providing an invaluable contribution to the character of this unique village, secondary only to the Parish Church," it said.
FAA stated that "approval of this application will not only result in the direct loss of these two buildings, but will pave the way for the complete destruction of one of the few remaining undisturbed villages found on the Maltese Islands."
"It is no use building hotels while destroying the very character of Gozo that in fact attracts visitors to the island," said the NGO.
FAA has launched an online campaign to provide the public with the necessary tools to submit their objection to the Planning Authority "against this onslaught" on Gozo and Malta's built heritage.
FAA concluded by saying that "we call on the public to support this call to safeguard that which truly makes Malta special, and help fight against this unjustified destruction of our cultural heritage."