Construction sites allowed to continue excavation and demolition to avoid danger
Eight construction site where demolition and excavation works are being carried out, were given permission to continue working, despite the order issued two weeks ago to suspend all works until end of September in tourist zones. This has led to various complaints by the residents, however the authorities have stated that the extensions were absolutely necessary in order to avoid the danger which would have been posed if the construction work had been stopped mid-way.
The difficult work which needs to be done on construction sites in residential areas is always an inconvenience but this gets worse in summer even if the authorities tried to limit the work and not allow further excavation and demolition in tourist zones.
“There is constant noise, we cannot sleep. Last time they started at 7am and kept going until 8.30pm. They do not even stop between 2pm – 4pm, and we cannot open our windows in this heat…” said a resident. “Tell me what you would do: you cannot open the windows because of the dust and noise, you cannot rest,” another resident told us.
Following the complaints by residents, the Sliema Local Council expressed the disapointment of its residents that the order to stop construction works had not been obeyed.
Contacted by Television Malta, the Head of the Buildings’ Regulation Office, Michael Ferry, said that in certain circumstances, permission is granted for work which was built before the order came into effect, to continue. He acknowledged that this was the case and that his office had issued some permits for demolition and excavation works to continue at six sites in Sliema, one in Marsaxlokk and one in Marsascala.
The President of the Developers’ Association, Sandro Chetcuti, while expressing his sympathy with the residents, defended these permits for safety reasons in the interest of the public and the residents.
“When building sites are being excavated in April/May for example, and the construction workers are caught out with the project not yet finished, it would be even more dangerous for the surroundings if the work is not completed. The authorities have the facility of giving an extension to developers so that they can finish the job,” Chetcuti explained. “September’s storms can cause a great deal of damage to places where the excavation sites fill up with water and become reservoirs which, as we have seen, can cause damages to adjacent properties.”
Mr Chetcuti also explained that construction work does not stop in summer. The only projects which stop are excavation and demolition.