Trees in a small Attard garden are to be uprooted to make way for more parking spaces, the Planning Authority has confirmed. 

Residents in Triq il-Katlan first contacted the Times of Malta when a sign promising a “project financed by the PA through the development planning fund” first popped up on a fence outside the garden. 

One resident, who requested to remain anonymous, said no information was forthcoming when inquiries were made at the local council about the project. 

No PA number was spotted on the site. 

A spokesman for the Planning Authority told the Times of Malta that a development notification order had been approved for the embellishment and revised parking provisions for the “junction”, including the introduction of 21 official parking bays to replace existing “informal parking”. 

The spokesman said paving and proper pedestrian access would also be introduced. 

All existing trees would be replanted on the same site together with 10 additional Olea Europea plants, the spokesman said. 

Clearances had been issued from all relevant authorities, the spokesman assured. 

'Trees will just be re-positioned'

In a reply, the Attard local council insisted that it was "totally misleading" to say trees would be uprooted.

"All trees in the area will just be re-positioned," the local council said. 

The local council emphasised its green credentials, saying it was "very proactive when it comes to greenery" and had been awarded funds for an urban greening project. 

Read: Original plans for Rabat road axed following outcry over tree removal

The government’s assault on trees has been subject to heavy criticism in recent years. Environment Minister José Herrera said last July the uprooting of trees to make way for new roads was necessary to prevent the country coming to a complete standstill. 

Dr Herrera has pointed to new urban greening projects as counteracting the loss of trees. The Attard Residents Environmental Network last year petitioned the Prime Minister to reconsider the central link project, a major reconstruction of the arterial road from the foot of Saqqajja Hill down to Mrieħel which, they said, would destroy arable land and affect 47 farmers.

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