A visualisation from the NGO Din l-Art Ħelwa showing the Sliema Townsquare project as seen from Birgu to Valletta sparked outrage on Facebook this week. The high-rise debate is back, and this time we’re wondering how far it will actually go.
The public were up in arms when Din l-Art Ħelwa warned that “the 38-storey Townsquare skyscraper would destroy the historic skyline of Valletta from the other side of Grand Harbour”.
Meanwhile, TownSquare Sliema Ltd, the developers spearheading the 38-storey tower in Sliema, have said that the NGOs visualisations “are grossly inaccurate and are aimed at misleading public opinion”.
Then two days ago, he Planning Authority appeals tribunal approved the appeals filed against the Townsquare high-rise project in a decision described as “a victory for civil society,” by Malcolm Mifsud, Din l-Art Ħelwa‘s lawyer.
The Planning Authority argued that the board’s decision should not have been appealed seeing as the bodies appealing (Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth, Ramblers Association, and the Qui-si-Sana residents’ association) had been represented on the authority when the major project was considered.
But will anything concrete come of this appeal approval? Will this latest development throw a real spanner in the works for the building of this controversial high-rise project? Well… what do you think?