Showing posts from April, 2010

Fort Cambridge and its environs

GAP Developments plc's latest project, Fort Cambridge, "has won the accolades" in the first Russian Home Overseas Property Awards, we are informed.

Without going into the merits of the design since I often admire a piece of architecture but totally disagree with its location and context, it is in fact the latter which alienates me to this project.

The Fort Cambridge project started off on a wrong foot while still on the drawing board, incensing the local residents' associations when the Malta Environment and Planning Authority issued permits for the development, dismissing the need for an Environment Impact Assement to be carried out. This was followed by further uproar from the Sliema Local Council, several environment NGOs and some political parties. At this point the NGO Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) contacted the EU which, on reviewing the case, ruled that an EIA had to be carried out, which forced MEPA to stand down from its previous position and ask the dev…

One step beyond?

The newspapers this morning, report a gang of youngsters ambushing other young passers-by on the Gzira-Sliema stretch.

This particular area of Gzira has always struggled with two festering sores; primarily the notorious red light district around Testaferrata Street, a bustling commercial centre by day, and a vacuous downtown by night, and then there's the stretch of public garden running along the marina seafront and around to Manoel Island. Insufficient lighting, the proximity to the red-light district, and a number of off-duty foreign yacht crews tossed in for good measure, are a good recipe for trouble. Manoel Island is currently undergoing transformation and development, but large swathes of the islet are in pitch black darkness by night. Nothing one watchman and a car barrier can solve.

And so we reap the latest crop of teenagers born and "bred" in these inept environs. Admittedly, this particular stretch has it's fine share of upmarket seafront apartments 'va…

Malta's Toxic Real Estate

I clearly remember the double retake I registered close to twenty years back, when as a young estate agent still breaking the ice in the business, I discovered that some of the highest priced property on the island was located within a couple of kilometres radius and in clear sight of Malta's prime toxic dump - Maghtab.
Facts and figures were hard to come by back then, and further questions from my part elicited many a disapproving look. But this morning I ran across the truth in black and white thanks to Cynthia Busuttil from The Times of Malta.

Here they are published in the papers, today 23rd April 2010.
• €30 million in EU funds will be used to turn the Magħtab, Sant'Antnin and Qortin dumps into leisure areas.

• Eighty per cent of the gases that come out of the Magħtab dump are toxic, the other 20 per cent is methane, being used to operate the regenerative thermal oxidiser.

• Almost 20 million tonnes of waste were dumped in Magħtab since the 1970s. Some 22.6 million tonnes of …

Re: PQ on Maltese property sold to foreigners

In his latest reply to a PQ by Noel Farrugia (PL) with regards to property tax, the Hon Tonio Fenech, Minister of Finance, Economy and Investment, stated that it was not government policy “that foreigners are incentivised to purchase property in Malta.” The remark caused quite a stir in the Times of Malta readers’ comments below the report. But is this justified?

The current situation finds the Maltese islands with a surplus of 70,000 vacant properties. This figures when taking the National Satistics Office (NSO) 2005 Census report of 53,000 vacant properties, (of which, it might be pertinent to point out, only 15% were in need of significant repairs) and adding further permits for 40,000 units, authorized by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) since that date.

If one were to extrapolate further, a report commissioned by the construction industry and carried out by major auditors, concluded that if all the mega-projects presently applied for - Midi, Fort Cambridge…

PQs - Mhijiex policy tal-Gvern li persuni baranin jigu incentivati jixtru propjeta' f'Malta - Ministru tal-Finanzi, l-Ekonomija u Investimenti

Leġislatura XI Kategorija ORAL
Mistoqsija Numru: 15647 Data: 15/03/2010
Seduta: 206 - 19/04/2010 06:00 PM
Seduta Interim:

staqsa lill-Onorevoli TONIO FENECH (Ministru tal-Finanzi, l-Ekonomija u Investiment):

Fid-dawl tal-fatt li f'Malta t-taxxa fuq il-proprjetà li tinxtara mill-barranin hija ta' 35% filwaqt li fi stati oħra fl-Unjoni Ewropeja tvarja bejn 18% u 20% bħal fil-każ tal-gżira ta' Ċipru, u b'detriment ta' dan Malta mhux qed tkun daqstant kompetittiva, jista' l-Ministru jara li din it-taxxa tiġi riveduta bil-għan li tiġi inċentivata u tissaħħaħ din l-industrija ħolistikament? Jekk fl-affermattiv, meta?


Ngħarraf lill-Onorevoli Interpellant li mhijiex policy tal-Gvern u lanqas fl-interess in ġenerali ta’ Malta li persuni barranin jiġu inċentivati biex jixtru propjetà f’Malta, kif qed ikun issuġġerit fil-mistoqsija parlamentari.