Current Affairs
New Foundation to safeguard Manoel Island’s historical and natural heritage

The historical and natural heritage of Manoel Island is to be preserved and restored, so that it can be enjoyed by the public in perpetuity.

This as a result of an agreement reached between the MIDI company and Gzira Local Council for the setting up of a new entity – The Manoel Island Foundation – which will be a non-profit body to safeguard the restoration and development which is soon to be carried out on this site.

What does the agreement entail?

MIDI is obliged to repair the area surrounding Fort Manoel, which will become an 80,000 cubic metre park accessible to the public after works are carried out on this area.

This agreement also ensures that the foreshore will continue to be accessible to the public, and MIDI has committed itself to release the areas planned for mooring of boats, instead of which the zones will become public swimming shores in the north and east of Manoel Island.

MIDI has also committed itself to limiting development height, whilst Foster & Partners will develop a low-rise marina village with a yacht marina on the western side of the island.

The restoration and new buildings are expected to join up different parts of Manoel Island, where open spaces and new squares for the public will be created in the course of this development.

The revised master plan is presently being considered by the Planning Authority, and MIDI is preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment based on terms of reference from the Environment and Resources Authority.

Reactions of involved parties

All this was announced this morning at a media conference, during which MIDI Chairman Alec Mizzi stated that the Foundation’s Administrative Committee will be ensuring the desired results are achieved, and this for the benefit of the locality’s citizens and the general public.

Gzira Mayor Conrad Borg Manche’ expressed satisfaction at the agreement, which he said will ensure that development is properly carried out. Foundation Chairperson Claire Bonello stated that this partnership is the first one of its kind, adding her hope that it will serve as an example for other major projects.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated that this was the way for a balance to be reached between natural and cultural safeguards and the historical environment, which group together sustainable commercial activity.

 

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