Retirement home offered on 5,000 m² of virgin land in Għarb


Għarb’s ODZ ground really can’t seem to get a break, with a new demand for a care home on virgin ground recently surfacing.

The proposed development application outlines plans to build a nursing home on the outskirts of Għarb, at the end of Triq Molina, leading to Wied il-Mielaħ.

While the claim form, filed by Perit Alex Bigeni and claimant Joseph Farrugia, who is a well-known property developer and owner of Prime Care Ltd, claims the site is not ODZ land, it turns out that is the case.

Calculations revealed that around 5,000m² of the area is in ODZ land, while only around 500m² is in the development area.

The project claims that it is only three stories high, ignoring the terraced nature of the proposed building.

The development plans to include 94 bedrooms, as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a gym, clinics, a day center and a chapel.

Digital interpretation of current plans

“A few days ago a number of local citizens had our first meeting with the local council, Bigeni and the owners,” a resident told Lovin Malta.

“The meeting was informative in nature, but we discovered things that concern us all the most.”

“The height of the finished house; the lack of parking for visitors and deliveries; blatant use of ODZ; the blind walls facing the houses there; sun blocking to gardens; traffic jam with the possibility of parking on the street; views from down the street to the house that will obliterate most of the village, and negative side views,” they explained.

The resident also noted the fact that it does not seem urgent to build such a house, otherwise the government would have ensured that the still unfinished and vacant St. Joseph’s House in Għajnsielem was already completed.

They also added that the current infrastructure in Għarb does not cater for a nursing home, as there is no health center, no bus stops in the area, very narrow streets for ambulances and no minibus service.

The price was also presented at the meeting, starting from €120 per day for a double room, which translates to €3,600 per month.

After asking what the benefits would be for residents of Għarb, it was said that there would be a rehabilitation pool, which residents could use for a fee for a few hours a day.

The expected construction time is five years, which will undoubtedly bring chaos to the tranquil and picturesque town of Għarb.

Website in question

Website in question

In addition to all this, the site in question is also currently used by farmers, as it is arable and fertile land.

And it’s not just a number of worried residents who are against the development, with the Planning Authority and the Environment and Resources Authority also expressing concern.

“The Committee opposes in principle any proposal that does not fall under the GDPR, 2014 or is not for agricultural purposes,” the AP said of the nomination.

“The proposed retirement home, including other ancillary interventions, will cover a total area of ​​5,309m², encroaching significantly beyond the boundaries of the development area. The proposal would entail the occupation of open rural land with the aim of introducing an urban type land use on a site characterized by arable fields,” the ERA said.

“This development is reprehensible from an environmental point of view.”

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) isn’t busy writing about environmental injustice, she’s likely fighting for women’s rights. Follow her @saaxhaa on Instagram and send her all things environment, art and women’s rights on [email protected]

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