A development application for a 14-storey block, 11 of the above street level on the site of the Toyota showroom in Triq l-Imdina, Żebbuġ, has been filed.

Addressing a news conference, AD chairman Carmel Cacopardo said the applicant was seeking permission to build an 11-storey tower above the ground with three additional floors of underground on an area of 11,000 square metres.

Altenattiva Demokratika, he said, has already been in contact with several residents who were worried since the tower would have a considerable impact on them and the neighbourhood.

Mr Cacopardo noted that it was not stated anywhere in the Planning Authority policies that such buildings in Żebbuġ should be approved. The development was considered a medium-height building and the planning policies reserved these to specific locations. Planning policies, he said, were often written in ambiguous language that often left room for interpretation which favoured the powerful. The excuses used were usually regeneration or job creation.

The proposed development would include a supermarket, shops, offices and health facilities, a gym and a car park for 908 cars. The most obvious impact was of the building was that it would ruin the skyline.

It would also generate more traffic in a place which could not take more and more cars, congestion and traffic. It would generate shadows on the neighbouring properties and some residents could just throw away their photovoltaic panels or solar water heaters.

"Powerful interests have turned their sight on Żebbuġ. Residents need our help and support in the ongoing fight against uncontrolled development and so called ‘business friendly’ policies which have no respect for anyone but seek to bend over backwards to make sure that profits come before people" Mr Cacopardo said.