A community hub for people with disabilities, announced with fanfare in 2017, remains just a big hole in the ground close to the Trade Fair grounds in Naxxar, Nationalist MP Claudette Buttigieg said on Tuesday.

Speaking in parliament, she said the government needs to explain why the project had been held up and whether it would go ahead. 

Neighbours, she said, have for years, suffered the inconvenience caused by the works, including dust and the presence of rats, since excavation works were made in 2019.

This, she recalled, was meant to be a €32 million project co-funded by the European Union. It was launched by then parliamentary secretary Anthony Agius Decelis.

Buttigieg asked why the project had been held up. Was it the case that the government had funding problems with the EU because of a rising tide of criticism of such projects? Many were insisting that people with disabilities should not be segregated and 'ghettoed' but should be put in the heart of towns and villages and made part of the community. As a result, similar projects in Estonia and Romania had run into opposition. Was this the case for Malta too?  

Her appeal, Buttigieg said, was for the government to decide what it would do and to eliminate the huge inconvenience being caused to neighbours.  

Project approved in 2017

According to the plans approved by the Planning Authority in 2017, the Naxxar project was to have consisted of four fully detached blocks, surrounded by a large landscaped open area, and an underground car park.

The complex was to feature residences, retail outlets, office space, workshops, a hostel, a therapy centre and gym.  

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us