A chain-link fence still adorns Paola’s barren main square, but works will soon start to revamp the area, according to the Civil Liberties Ministry.

Trees in Antoine de Paule Square were removed after the €3 million project was announced in 2015, but works soon came to a grinding halt.

The planning permit to transform the area into a garden with restricted traffic and pedestrian zones was approved in July last year, giving shop owners and residents hope the works would restart shortly after.

Hope turned into despair, as six months later the treeless square, now partially cordoned off with a fence, remained as barren as it was when the Planning Authority gave its go-ahead.

The project will lead to what its architect, Chris Mintoff, described as an urban garden with a substantial number of trees being planted all around the square

But that wait could soon be over. A spokesman for the Civil Liberties Ministry, which is responsible for the project, since it falls within the remit of the Consultative Council for the South, said the tender for the works was in its final stages of adjudication. Eight bidders tendered for the project.

“Works will commence in the coming weeks should there be no appeals and are estimated to take 15 months from date of commencement,” the spokesman said.

The project, designed by architect Chris Mintoff, will lead to what he described as an urban garden with a substantial number of trees being planted all around the square.

The regeneration covers the stretch of traffic-heavy open space from in front of the prisons all the way to the Paola health centre, incorporating the church parvis.

Existing public toilets near the prisons will be moved as part of the project, providing the square with a direct link to the Mediterranean Garden, formerly known as Gaddafi Garden, alongside Dom Mintoff Road.

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

Support Us