Press Release 26th September 2014
Din l-Art Helwa commended the unanimous decisions by the Mepa board that refused applications from two Sliema hotels to develop stretches of rocky foreshore into beach concessions and lidos. Referring to the applications by the Preluna and Bayview Hotels Din l-Art Helwa said that it welcomed Mepa’s adherence to the current Structure Plan policies which protect the coast and secure public access, saying it hopes that these legal restrictions will continue to exist in the forthcoming Structure plan which is due to relax many policies in favour of development.
Din l-Art Helwa stated it also hoped this decision would serve as a deterrent to those who are making plans to take up public areas of coast for private use and indeed to those who are already doing so illegally. Further cementification of those rare pockets of coastline that still exist needs to be prevented at all costs. Malta’s shores are fast becoming one private ring road of concrete, affording little or no public enjoyment of free spaces, no visual relief from clutter, and scarce protection of the Mediterranean biodiversity that we hold. Din l-Art Helwa looks to MEPA and to the Ministry of Environment to continue to uphold such environmental considerations when handling future applications that imply loss of natural spaces and habitats