UPDATED: Leave it as it is - Pembroke residents protest building of new school

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Pembroke, a place mostly known for its serene atmosphere and as a destined spot for family outings, being threatened by developers. It seems like development and in turn making money are the new obsessions on these islands, while the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer. Residents together with the natural habitat will suffer which is found in this area will suffer greatly due to the destruction of the little natural habitat we have left, while all those in power continue to shine and fill their pockets.

Green areas in Pembroke are enjoyed by everyone, not just locals, but even tourists. Some years back, a trail was created so that people could access the area and walk comfortably while admiring the different flora that take over the space and absorbing the fresh air coming from the sea. These elements will soon be lost due to the building of a new Chiswick primary school which will take over a large part of the area.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and the residents are taking matters into their own hands. It’s easy to see how furious they are about the plan to build a new school on Garigue land, right next to another primary school. Such a decision will lead to an increase in pollution levels due to the amount of cars and traffic that will take over the area as soon as the school is open to welcoming new students and also the destruction of the flora and fauna which currently finds home in this plot of land.

Residents have put up a Facebook page and stand united in order to make their voices heard. Others have volunteered to create banners which are being put up on rooftops and walls. The message is clear “Leave Pembroke Alone”.

A petition has also been going round door by door in Pembroke, and many have put up an objection online to The Planning Authority. (Pics Banners 1, 2, PlanningAuthority)

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Some have also written articles in a number of newspapers. Children are also doing their part and voicing their concerns as can be seen in a letter written by a young girl which was shared on Facebook. (Pic LetterbyKid)

Speaking to one of the residents, I cam face to face with the concerns of the locals: “The area is our back garden. The area is also a public garden to the many who come with their families on Sundays and public holidays. The area is home to flora and fauna. The area encompasses a walking trail, jogging trail, dog walking trail, cycling trail and even horse-riding! We do not own huge villas with big gardens and pools to get away from it all. That is where we, the common people, get away from it all. That is where we breathe. Leave it as is.”

A senior lecturer at the University of Malta, Adrian Grima, who happens to be a Pembroke resident, wrote a poem dedicated to the residents. Grima writes how people are expected to watch the land get built and accept whatever is thrown their way. But instead, the residents are voicing their opinions and making sure that they will fight so as other generations will still be able to enjoy the land, fresh air and the light which we inherited from the past generations.

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Residents, together with the Local Council, have decided to hold a Public Meeting on the 8th August 2017 at Gabriel Henin Road in Pembroke, at 6:00pm. All residents are encouraged to attend, while the general public is also invite to join. Moviment Graffiti, Flimkien ghal Ambjent ahjar and Friends of the Earth will join in at the mentioned Public Meeting.

UPDATE

In a recent press release, the Green Party’s Secretary General Ralph Cassar expressed how Pembroke is yet another locality which is constantly coming face to face with new infrastructural development. Cassar points fingers at the fact that back in 2006, the Government did not work for the creation of a Strategic Environmental Assessment which would have otherwise overseen all development and would have foreseen the cumulative impact of all this development. “Instead of living in a country that promotes open air spaces, it instead encourages traffic, pollution and more buildings,” went on Cassar.

Written by

Sarah Cassar Dymond

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UPDATED: Leave it as it is - Pembroke residents protest building of new school

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