A pocket of agricultural land in Pieta' featuring a 250-year-old tool room and mature trees is set to be wiped out to make way for more apartments, an environmental NGO has warned. 

Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar predicted that the Planning Authority would this Friday approve an application to develop the area on Triq Pietru Xuereb, despite the applicant having failed to submit photos of the tool room and an on-site World War II shelter to the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.

The Superintendence had provisionally approved the application on the condition that the developer submitted photos allowing it to assess whether the tool room should be retained and whether the war shelter would be affected by the development. 

Almond and cypress trees dating back more than 50 years would be wiped out by the project, FAA has said.Almond and cypress trees dating back more than 50 years would be wiped out by the project, FAA has said.

Photos were never submitted, FAA said, but nevertheless the case officer had recommended approving the project "through a warped interpretation of the facts." 

According to FAA, the case officer argued that photos were not necessary since the tool room in question is located on a planned schemed road approved by Transport Malta.

"How does clearance from Transport Malta for the construction of a road justify demolishing a centuries-old tool room forming part of our cultural heritage?" the NGO said, adding that the schemed road in question "is simply a roundabout providing access to the proposed private apartment block." 

"Furthermore, what was the scope of asking the Superintendent for their recommendation if the Planning Authority had no intention of considering their professional opinion to begin with?" the NGO added. 

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