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The Naxxar Business Community has objected to the Application for a project proposed by the Naxxar Local Council consisting of the embellishment of the Naxxar Parish Square, a change in the existing traffic directions and the pedestrianisation of the Naxxar parish square.
GRTU has been in contact with the Naxxar Local Council as well as various owners of business establishments who operate in the Naxxar parish square in relation to the proposed Project. Moreover, representatives of GRTU have met with the Business Operators and the Council to discuss the impact of the proposed project on the business community.
In a letter dated 8th April 2010 the GRTU informed Parliamentary Secretary Honourable Chris Said that it was not in agreement with the Project given that this would adversely affect the Business Operators whose businesses will no longer be viable as a result of the pedestrianisation and loss of what is already a limited amount of parking spaces in the area.
GRTU has been informed by shop owners who are also residents in the area that the project will severely increase traffic flows on the other side of the parish church (given the proposal to change a one-way traffic road into a two-way traffic road) thus causing increased air and noise pollution. In view of this the Project may also have an adverse effect on the residential community in the area and thus not even the residents will benefit from the Project.
As explained above the Project might cause severe job losses in view of the loss of parking facilities and the reduction of traffic flows in the area in which Business Operators have their establishments.
GRTU is not aware of any economic impact assessment carried out in relation to the proposed Project but through its experience of the impact of a similar project in the neighbouring town, is of the view that the Project will have severe repercussions on jobs. The GRTU has not been given sight of the Application however it is aware that the Local Council needs to demonstrate justified needs to implement the Project and to provide a detailed justification of why the project is required and how the project will tackle specific local problems.
The GRTU is aware that the Local Council has carried out a survey to comply with this requirement but has concerns about the way the survey was implemented and the type of methodology adopted. In fact the GRTU has been informed that the survey was focused specifically on tourist attraction in the Naxxar locality without taking into account the repercussions of the project or the wider needs of the local community (both business and residential).
GRTU on behalf of the Naxxar Business Community is insisting for an economic impact assessment by experts, independent of the Local Council, to be carried out before the project is even considered.
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