Infrastructure Malta continues construction of new street in Dingli
Infrastructure Malta is continuing the construction of a schemed street connecting Dahla tas-Sienja Street, San Gwann Bosco Street and Il-Museum Alley, in Dingli.
The agency had stopped these works soon after they commenced in October 2020 to discuss concerns raised by some individuals and organisations with the applicable authorities. During the last few months, it held talks with the Planning Authority, the Environment and Resources Authority and the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage to go through the plans and method statements of this road and ensure that they are implemented with the least possible adverse impacts on the area’s environment. It also continued talks with the owners of adjacent lands to discuss and conclude applicable expropriation terms.
In the meantime, last week the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal turned down a local organisation’s appeal against the Environment and Resources Authority’s permit for the uprooting of three trees in the site of the schemed street. In submissions to this Tribunal, the Environment and Resources Authority stated that the appellants did not have a juridical interest to make such an appeal. Furthermore, it reconfirmed its approval for the uprooting of the three trees, explaining that Infrastructure Malta was requested to plant 30 new trees as an adequate compensation in line with applicable regulations. In a separate submission following a site inspection, the enforcement and environment protection officers of this Authority denied allegations by third parties that Infrastructure Malta had uprooted trees illegally when works started in October.
The Planning Authority also confirmed to the Tribunal that, in line with applicable regulations, there was no obligation for Infrastructure Malta to notify the Authority about its works in Dingli since the new street between Dahla tas-Sienja Street, San Gwann Bosco Street and Il-Museum Alley is schemed as per the Local Plan.
Residents in Il-MUSEUM Alley and other nearby areas in Dingli have long been calling for the formation of this schemed street to improve connectivity and to create a safer access to numerous residences, some of which are currently only accessible through a narrow lane that does not permit firefighting and other emergency vehicles to reach their homes. In a recent communication to Infrastructure Malta, the Civil Protection Department denied the allegation that it had told a local organisation there was no need to improve accessibility to emergency vehicles in this area.
As it does in all works close to archaeological remains, Infrastructure Malta is consulting the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage to make sure that a centuries-old abandoned building a short distance away from the new street’s alignment, which is believed to be the remains of a medieval chapel, is not adversely impacted by the required works. The construction of the new street does not necessitate the demolition or alteration of any parts of these historical remains. An archaeologist approved by the Superintendence will be monitoring all road works near this historical structure, to make sure it is adequately protected.
Infrastructure Malta is planning to complete this new street in the next few months.