Planning Authority pressured to lift objection on Wardija ODZ development

Planning Authority officials who objected to a development application to fragment a parcel of agricultural land at Ras il-Wardija, a protected ODZ area of natural landscape value, are being pressured to set aside their concerns and issue a permit.

The application filed last year by Alexander Fenech proposes that a tumolo of agricultural land with stunning views of St Paul’s Island be divided with a new passageway for vehicular access.

The developer is also asking the PA for a permit to construct rubble walls dividing the area, and to erect a wooden gate outside the small agricultural holding.

The application might look like a simple agricultural development, but it has been preceded by a number of illegal developments along Triq Safsafija, which leads directly to the area of application.

The Shift is informed that while Fenech was filing his application last year, the rural country road leading to Ras il-Wardija was paved with concrete, blocking a centuries-old watercourse that ran to Xemxija Bay. Water and electricity points were also installed at regular intervals along the new concreted road.

Development applications for the area began piling up at the PA, including one to change the use of an existing Girna into a pump room, and an application for the construction of a reservoir — more likely to be an illegal swimming pool.

PA officials noted that the application goes against all rural policies in the area, adding that permits are not normally issued to divide a small parcel of agricultural land, and that the proposal goes against the protection and enhancement of the rural landscape.

All other entities consulted by the PA according to the law also rejected the application, including the Environment and Resources Authority, the Agriculture Advisory Council and the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage.

However, the board that heard the application (PA 02940/21), presided over by Martin Camilleri, did not throw out the application, instead postponing its decision for further consultations.

The applicant submitted modified plans in an attempt to overcome objections but so far the PA is standing firm.

The Shift is reliably informed that members of the Planning Commission deciding on the application are being informally told by higher authorities to find a way to approve the application.


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1 month ago

Here, the planning authority must name its “horse and rider”:
Who is ordering what here?

If an employee gives in to this, then he is clearly the wrong man in the wrong place.

BTW: It is not clear to me why illegally built houses are not demolished.
This would eliminate this problem quickly and permanently.

(A real loud conversation a few years ago I had to listen to: 
You do it!
    No, I don’t do that.
Then I’ll fire you.
    Then you will fire me, but I won’t do that.

I wish there were many, many more with such backbones. He had a family, by the way.

1 month ago

Anarchy at its very best.

Ġwanni Fenek
Ġwanni Fenek
1 month ago

L-ilpup qed jgħassu l-merħla.

X’ma jkunx hawn korruzzjoni f’dil-ġebla mċaħħda minn kull virtù?

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