Five Labour-linked architects had more than 90% of development applications approved since 2013

Five architects closely tied to the Labour Party have enjoyed a 90% approval rate for development applications they filed since 2013, an analysis by The Shift shows.

They include one of Gozitan developer Joseph Portelli’s most frequently used architects, Alexander Bigeni; Colin Zammit, the architect who received a €700,000 direct order from disgraced former tourism minister Konrad Mizzi; architect, lawyer and government consultant Robert Musumeci; PL deputy leader Daniel Micallef and the PL’s organising secretary William Lewis.

The most prolific of the five architects is Alexander Bigeni who has filed 713 applications since March 2013, 95% of which were approved, according to Lovin Malta’s Planning Web system.

Bigeni is closely associated with Gozitan developer Joseph Portelli as well as with Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri, with whom he also shares a familial link. In fact, 176 of the 713 applications were filed in Xagħra, Gozo.

In July 2020, Bigeni was selected as the architect overseeing the works carried out at the Gozo sports complex, contracted to one of Portelli’s companies, Excel Investments, by the Gozo ministry, putting him in the position of monitoring one of his biggest clients.

While 64% of Bigeni’s applications were filed within development areas, another 36% were filed outside development zones (ODZ). Out of the 259 applications filed in ODZ, only 10% were refused.

Bigeni is not the only architect benefitting from his close association to developers and the Labour Party.

Colin Zammit of Maniera Group is listed as having filed 395 planning applications, 97% of which were approved. Less than 10% of Zammit’s applications were in ODZ.

Zammit’s firm was chosen by minister Ian Borg for his infamous ODZ swimming pool at his Rabat home. The firm was more recently mentioned as the same one paid €700,000 in taxpayer money to design a campus that was never built.

Architect and lawyer Robert Musumeci, a planning consultant to the government whose name is listed in association with 376 development applications, filed more than half of them in ODZ areas (51%), of which just 11.4% were refused. Despite the majority of his applications being in ODZ, Musumeci nonetheless maintains a 91% overall approval rate for every application filed since 2013.

Musumeci, a self-declared specialist in “planning legislation” who works in the private sector but also acts as government consultant on planning, also resorts to challenging decisions to refuse applications through the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal, as had happened in the case of Law Commissioner Antonio Mizzi.

Labour Party executive members and architects Daniel Micallef and William Lewis have had 95% and 94% of development applications which were either filed by them personally or otherwise filed by architecture firms they founded.

Micallef’s firm, X, Y, Z Architecture & Design, filed 202 applications since 2013, while Lewis was linked with 162 applications.

While both have raked in hundreds of thousands of euro from direct orders issued through public procurement, Lewis’ firm has also been directly involved in infrastructure works carried out by the government, including illegal works carried out in Comino in May of last year.

                           
                               
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makjavel
makjavel
25 days ago

Calculate 6% of the total cost of these projects, and find out how much they made . MILLIONS. The rest shared the remaining 10%. The Income Tax , VAT departments are submerged in investigating the the remaining 10%.

Stephen ABELA
Stephen ABELA
24 days ago

The true cost is that which is sustained by the island. This ruthless ramage is erasing our ecology, not to mention our national heritage and identity. These people are destroying the Maltese national identity to fatten thier pockets there must be a definition for such people.

carlos
24 days ago
Reply to  Stephen ABELA

Unless people go in the streets to stop these scandals, the situation will get from bad to worse. putin’s way

carlos
24 days ago

MAFIA YOU SAID? no SUPER MAFIA YES. More of the same corruption. Shame on This corrupt lot.

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