‘I have no plans to open a night club in Mistra’ – Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando

Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando has denied plans to push for a club on his land situated in a Natura 2000 site following an outpour of anger over the announcement of the closure of Margot’s restaurant at Mistra Bay.

In a social media post, the restaurant announced it will be closing down, saying the lease of Palazzo Santa Rosa had not been renewed as part of the land had been sold to a “disgraced ex-politician” with plans to develop a nightclub.

The Shift reached out to the former MP and current chairman of the Malta Council for Science and Technology for an explanation. He said this was “absurd and untrue”.

Pullicino Orlando owns land near Margot’s restaurant, which had landed him in hot water in the run-up to the 2008 general elections following a highly public dispute with then-Labour Party leader Alfred Sant.

“I am not planning on building a nightclub there. It’s old news and he is referring to something that happened in 2008 which everyone already knows about,” Pullicino Orlando told The Shift.

In 2008, in the run-up to the general elections, Sant had claimed that Pullicino Orlando, then a PN MP, had pressured officials to approve plans for an open-air disco on the site he wanted to lease out to Dominic Micallef Jr.

Pullicino Orlando had filed a libel suit against Sant, which was settled in 2014. The court ruled that Sant’s comments on Pullicino Orlando were fair within the context of public persons in positions of power.

Following the restaurant’s post earlier this week, Pullicino Orlando denied being involved in the termination of the lease agreement for the restaurant.

“I have no idea why he wrote that,” Pullicino Orlando said about the restaurant’s owner. “I’ve told all the people who asked me about that to go ask him since he wrote it. I keep seeing people’s comments reacting to that post and I still said nothing. I bought my land in 1997, it’s been mine since then, it is mine today and I will keep it that way.”

Despite multiple attempts, the restaurant’s owner Claude Camilleri could not be reached.

While it seems that the spectre of the Mistra nightclub remains, at least for the time being, a spectre, development plans for the area have been filed, although for an entirely different project.

One of the site photos uploaded by architect Christopher Micallef on behalf of the Malta Sailing Federation, a sailing club which is seeking to develop an ‘Olympic Training Base’ near Mistra Bay in Mellieħa.

An application filed recently by the Malta Sailing Federation is situated a few metres away from the restaurant. Fronted by architect Christopher Micallef, the application is seeking permission from the Planning Authority to develop an ‘Olympic Training Base’ in the Natura 2000 site.

The development itself would consist of clearing up the area and “rehabilitating an existing building for sailing facilities”. The project description refers to the “installation of demountable structures for storage of sailing equipment and facilities” and an “open storage and briefing area”.

The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage (SCH) has objected to the project. “The Superintendence notes that the proposal is not acceptable in view of its impact on vistas on Fort Campbell (Grade 1; GN 008/97) and the proposed formalisation on a pristine rural and cultural landscape”.

The SCH recommended that the site is restored to recover “the cultural landscape”.

Mellieħa’s local council and NGO Din L-Art Ħelwa have also filed objections to the proposed development, with Din L-Art Ħelwa saying that “there is absolutely no justification for this proposal” while highlighting the same points raised by the SCH.

                           
                               
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Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

Let’s wait and see what the gods at the PA come up with!!!
Not very reassured, that is certain.

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