A €9.3 million regeneration project of the Three Cities will include the semi-pedestrianisation of the main thoroughfare and the upgrading of two housing estates in Cospicua.

The project, divided into five parts, was expected to be completed by the end of next year, project leader Hector Chetcuti said.

Themed Stronger Cottonera Communities: The Citizen’s Right To Accessibility, the project is 85 per cent financed by the European Regional Development Fund and 15 per cent by the government.

The first part of the project involves the regeneration of Xatt ir-Risq and Dock 1. The entire dockside of the locality will be upgraded, creating a continuous pedestrian access all the way from Fort St Angelo to Senglea.

Moreover, the enclosed area around the dock and quay will be opened up and integrated with the two central squares of Cospicua, Gavino Gulia and Paolino Vassallo. The development includes landscaping of the St Theresa church parvis and redesigning the regatta club façade.

Another part of the project deals with social regeneration and will consist of the upgrading of St Nicholas Married Quarters and the Verdala housing estate. About 94 families live in these areas in scheduled Grade 1 government property, which form part of the fortifications.

The Housing Authority, which is responsible for this part of the project, has met all the families involved to explain the project. Chairman Charles Borg said the remit of the project would be limited to an upgrade of the façades and the reorganisation of access to the housing estate as well as organised parking facilities. A sum of €1.4 million was allocated for this.

He said this was a project with an integrated approach. The authority had committed itself to provide affected families with alternative accommodation. This was being dealt with on a case by case basis.

Land Commissioner Albert Mamo said the tenants were given until the beginning of October to remove any illegal additions, including walls, rooms, washrooms and even kennels.

The third part of the project, which is already under way and is expected to be completed by the end of this month, entails the landscaping of the San Ġwann t’Għuxa area, having a budget of €134,000.

The fourth part consists of the regeneration of the area around Dar Andrew, an independent living centre for disabled people.

The present paving, which is a mix of asphalt, concrete and slabs, will be standardised and the parking reorganised. The project, with a budget of €76,000, will improve accessibility to the home, which is impaired because of high pavements.

The last project is the creation of a feeder bus route for the Cottonera area as part of the national bus transport system.

Mr Chetcuti said the permits for the regeneration of Dock 1 and Xatt ir-Risq were already in hand and the tenders had been issued and were being adjudicated.

Tenders for the remaining works would to be issued pending planning permits, which were expected to be issued in the coming weeks.

He said that while the San Ġwann t’Għuxa project would be completed by the end of this month, the rest of the project would be ready by the end of next year.

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