PD requests Auditor General to investigate Mellieha ‘land grab’

Partit Demokratiku MPs Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia have asked the Auditor General to investigate the transfer of public land to a developer in Mellieha, which was done without parliament’s consent.

“We request an investigation into how Transport Malta has granted public land that is part of an arterial road on the Mellieha bypass to accommodate the interests of third parties. This occurred as part of the process of an application with the Planning Authority,” the two MPs said in a letter sent to the Auditor General Charles Deguara.

The land in question was transferred to the GAP group which is constructing a service road adjacent to 120 apartments on the Mellieha bypass. The new service road encroaches on part of the existing perimeter road and residents and commuters are dumbfounded by the transport minister Ian Borg’s claims that the by-pass will remain a four-lane road.

Pointing out that government failed to object to this manoeuvre during the application process when it had every right to do so, the two MPs said that the Land Authority was not consulted either.

“We note that such a transfer of public land was done without a parliamentary resolution or a public call and so goes against the law, considering that the transfer of public land is being achieved to serve this development,” they said.

Borg had justified the encroachment by saying it would address “an anomaly”, however, following a public uproar, he declared that the bypass will remain a four-lane road. However, this will probably translate into further loss of ODZ land and expensive expropriations.

Noting that the transfer of land is being done as a pretext for the upgrading of the arterial road, the PD MPs said “naturally, this requires the necessary space to make four lanes, pavements and bicycle lanes and thus has taken additional public land, possibly classified as Natura 2000, in order to protect the health and safety of all road users.”

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