Here’s Why I’m Objecting

Monday is just a lousy day of the week. Nevertheless, here we are trying to strive in this messed up world. Sometimes, I don’t know what to write here so I skip a week. I’m learning to make writing a daily job but it isn’t easy when you’re a student and a waitress. Some of my blog posts are spontaneous. This one is.

I’ve taken to social media to express my opinion over the current development proposal in my street in Gozo. And I’ve decided that I need to speak my mind. Words are my form of expression. So, why am I objecting to the development proposal in Qortin Street, Nadur, Gozo?

I’ve come to realize something very recently. Something which took me a long time to admit to myself, let alone other people. It took me eleven years to admit this. For me, home will always be New York City, in particular, my old building 318. However, Qortin Street calls to me. Qortin Street, whether I like it or not, will always exist and I will always be tied to it. It will be a place to visit or escape to or simply recognize. Wherever I live in the world, Qortin Street is my shared past with my ancestors. Qortin Street will always be there and I don’t mind that.

Qortin Street is a character. It is simple and laid back. You can walk bare foot in the street and no one will care. The residents are a bit too Gozitan and they’re loud and nosy yet they’re a small community of characters that make the place what it is. For me, the countryside vibe is emphasized by my uncle’s farm. There’s no rush in Qortin Street except for hard-work and daily errands. The view is picturesque. You can see all of Qala from Qortin Street. And the fields. The greenery is a wake up call. The greenery is so fresh; it’s the break you need from reality to realize how amazing breathing is. Finally, there’s a direct view of Dahlet Qorrot. I’ve looked at that horizon thousands of times from my window and I’ve seen skyscrapers. That view is what inspired my latest novella.

Imagine someone who you don’t know suddenly taking that all away from you. Imagine this massive and ugly infrastructure suddenly replacing the countryside you’ve woken up to every single day. For me, it’s like someone decided to knock down the Empire State Building in New York City which I lived five blocks away from because without the Empire State Building, would 34th Street be the same? No, it wouldn’t! Qortin Street will not be the same after 71 apartments.

This infrastructure does not belong in Qortin Street. Whoever wants to build this does not care about the locals. This person does not care about the fact that they would be damaging the environment. This person does not care about the causes of traffic, noise, pollution and waste drainage. This person only cares about money. Why can’t these developers build apartments within urban areas? Why ruin the countryside? The fact that big-time politicians are not speaking up about this only shows that if they truly represented us, they’d try to be as active as the locals.

What hurts the most is that the Planning Authority, someway somehow, will probably approve of this building. With what reasons, I don’t know. And it hurts because you’d think that us locals have a lot of valid points and yet the PA will still go ahead with this development. Don’t we have a say?

Unfortunately, people complain a lot about issues like these but they don’t speak up. To a certain point, I don’t blame them. They’re scared that in such a small community, they get threatened by those with power and money or that people will talk badly about them or even that someone will damage their car during the night! It’s scary but yes these things do exist in Gozo and it’s not fair. Our opinion and our voices count. That is democracy. This is why activism is important: it is active and persistent. Complaining doesn’t help anyone. Therefore, if you’re a big believer in justice, help us get this infrastructure disapproved. Already so many places in Gozo are being gobbled up by these big-bucks developers such as the case in Qala. Let’s not let it happen in Qortin Street.

Taken from Jamie Buttigieg’s Facebook post, a fellow activist in this issue, here’s all the information you need to object this proposal.

PA/00085/21 Site at, Triq il-Qortin, Nadur partially within ODZ to be developed with proposed excessive excavation, insensitive heights and increased density in a relatively rural area.

You can object by copying and pasting the following text in the following link. Please fill properly with your Maltese ID card otherwise it will not be valid:

OBJECTION:

“I object to PA/00085/21 which will have an irreversible and unacceptable detrimental impact on Nadur and its surrounding context.

The development being proposed involving excessive excavation, insensible height, volume and density is partially located Outside the Development Zone and therefore must adhere to the RPDG14. The scope of such policies is to enhance and add value to the rural scene. The excavation of 2 to 3 floors below street level is unjustified within the site in question.

The proposed development including the pool area, will lead to the unwarranted take-up of land falling Outside the Development Zone, for a use that can under no circumstances be deemed necessary. The disregard of the development zone boundary, as would result through approval of this request, would create an unprecedented pressure for similar requests rendering, what should and is currently considered to be, a definitive boundary as subjective. The proposed pool and extended apartments can be accommodated within the defined Development Zone. It is of paramount importance that the Authority prevents such a disruptive situation from ensuing.

Furthermore, the site is found in close proximity to the Special Area of Conservation, Natura 2000 site, Il-Qortin tal-Magun u l-Qortin il-Kbir. The site is close to Scheduled area of ecological importance with protection level 3 of San Blas to Dahlet Qorrot (GN 712_06). The proposed development would result in the negative impact over such a landscape with significant rural and cultural importance.

The density and mass created by the development is deemed incongruent and disruptive to the rural area at the outskirts of Nadur. It will impose over the views and vistas to and from the valley of San Blas to Dahlet Qorrot.

The proposed development runs counter to P6 of DC15 “Transition solutions between DZ edge and ODZ” and SPED Thematic Objectives 1.10, 8.1, 7.6, 7.7 and Urban objective 3.7.

I would like to be registered as a third party objector.”

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