Gozo architect Alex Bigeni on livestock farm development spree

Architect Alex Bigeni, whose name is regularly associated with construction projects linked to Joseph Portelli, has shown up in association with a total of at least five applications to develop livestock farms in ODZ areas in Gozo, with the latest one seeking to develop a sheep farm on a site the size of three football fields in Triq is-Sannat in Xewkija, Gozo.

The application, PA/695/22, filed by applicant Lawrence Cassar, seeks to demolish a small room to build a sheep farm with ancillary facilities on a 16,094sqm ODZ site. The building would be over two floors and over 90m in length, with a beaten earth footpath leading up to it from Triq is-Sannat.

The room circled in red is the room that would be replaced by a sheep farm. Photo: Google

The application to build the sheep farm follows another, similar application from 2016, also filed by the same applicant, Cassar, through Bigeni. The application was withdrawn in 2017. It is not known what the case officer’s verdict on the older application was as it is not available on the Planning Authority’s website – it is unclear why as usually the case officer’s report usually remains available.

The application is the latest in a string of similar applications in Gozo that seek to develop farms for the rearing of animals, often in picturesque, protected areas.

The Shift has already highlighted an application to build a poultry farm in Wied Għasri following complaints from the local council and residents in the area, in particular over the fact that the applicant was not a registered poultry farmer and that the proposed development was incongruous with its rural setting.

Wied Ghasri poultry farm site

A shot of the site for the proposed poultry farm in Wied Għasri. Photo: Joanna Demarco

Għasri’s local council had, in its objections, flagged at least three similar applications in the same locality, arguing that Għasri was being targeted by a wave of similar developments which are “objectionable in principle”. The Shift was informed of yet another application to build a sheep farm in Għasri, PA/4883/20, also fronted by Bigeni, which is also being opposed.

The status of that application indicates that it is still pending a final decision following an initial recommendation for refusal. Għasri’s local council had also objected to this application, with the Environment and Resources Authority describing it as objectionable due to the “loss of undeveloped land and the proliferation of development onto ODZ land”.

Two of the applications mentioned by the local council, PA/4905/20 and PA/761/21, also feature Bigeni as the architect responsible for the project. The former refers to an application to build a sheep farm in Wied is-Seqer and the latter refers to an application to build a poultry farm in Triq Dun Karm Caruana, both in Għasri.

While the application in Triq Dun Karm Caruana is still awaiting a recommendation from the PA’s case officer, the sheep farm application for Wied is-Seqer was approved following another similar application that was approved despite a recommendation for refusal.

                           
                               
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Joe Xerri
Joe Xerri
2 months ago

La jista’ sew jaghmel. Hmar il-perit li ma jaghmilx bhalu. Ma nafx ghalfejn qed nattakkaw l-individwi flok naghmlu pressjoni fuq il-Planning Authority, l-istat u kull awtorita’ ohra involuta biex tinbidel is-sistema u jsiru processi aktar rigidi u fair minflok.

Min qed jahdem biex dawn l-abbuzi jitwaqfu? Liema Ministru jew membru parlamentari Malti jew Ghawdxi vera ghandu interess li jara li dawn l-affarijiet jieqfu darba ghal dejjem? Il-maggoranza taghhom (passati u prezenti) ghandhom interess dirett li jibqghu jsiru affarijiet bhal dawn, b’uhud minnhom qeghdin sleeping partners, jew shareholders f’kumpaniji tal-kostruzzjoni, tarmak, u affarijiet ohra. Allura la ma jitkellemx min hu fid-dmir u mhallas li jitkellem, qed nistghagbu bil-hnizrijiet?

cikku
cikku
2 months ago

apart from this bigeni appearing to be the new musumeci, who in the last two decades managed to find all the legal loopholes to grant his clients permits for monstrosities on virgin lands, one needs to analyse whether there is some form of patern in these filings which at face value should all be objectionable. Is it possibly a case where after 2-3 failed filings the authority grants the next filing on the basis of pity? worst still if there is some form of pre-arrangement whereby the authority is effectively forced to grant whatever is filed after the failed filings.

M.Galea
M.Galea
2 months ago

X misthija! Jiddiriguhom x ghandhom jaghmlu!! Naf hafna qed japplikaw ghal kmamar f odz bl iskuza li ser ibieghu l prodott min go fihom u x hin johrog l permess issibhom riklamati fuq facebook ghal kiri! X misthija nerga nghid! U zgur n naghga tiela t tieni sular ghal veduta tmaxtar! Halluna ja qabda hmieg!

JOHN CASSAR
2 months ago

L-Ghawdxin ghandhom juru r-rabja taghhom lejn dan il-perit li m’ghandu l-ebda skruplu. Kull ma tistaw taghmlu huwa li ma tuzawx is-servizzi tieghu.

F Camilleri
F Camilleri
2 months ago
Reply to  JOHN CASSAR

Il-problema hi li la jahdem ma’ Portelli Projects, ghandu bizzejjed klijentela biex mhux talli jaqla’ il-paga minima imma li jghix hajja sinjura.

Il-problema hi li jridu jinbidlu u jissikaw il-processi u l-ligijiet biex affarijiet bhal dawn ma jibqghux isehhu. Jekk tkun perit u tapplika aktar minn 5 darbiet f’ODZ (ghas-sahha tal-argument) ghandu jittehidlek il-warrant, halli n-nies ma jibqghux isibu min jitfa’ applikazzjoni f’isimhom f’ODZ areas. Inkella malli tintefa’, jibdew pressjonijiet minn taht biex tigi accettata.

Phoenix
Phoenix
2 months ago

Bicca mbarazz. Jeqred lil Ghawdex ghal gost u l-but

JOHN CASSAR
2 months ago

Naqbel ma F. Camilleri. Is-suggeriment tieghu jaghmel hafna sens. Li kieku jien nehodlu l-warrant war tlett aplikazzjonijiet. Jekk ma dawn it-tip ta’ periti ma zzommx id tal-hadid dawn jaslu biex jaghmlu dak li jixtiequ l-barunijiet tal-artijiet bhal Joseh Portelli

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