After seven-figure deal, developer Ta’ Dirjanu moves into Xlendi restaurant that requires sanctioning

Gozitan property developer Mark Agius – better known as Ta’ Dirjanu after his mother’s supermarkets, and a partner/frontman of most of Joseph Portelli’s mega-projects – has now entered a new line of business as the owner of a top-notch restaurant in Xlendi.

Through a multi-million-euro deal, Agius has taken over il-Terrazzo restaurant at the end of the Xlendi promontory, giving it a facelift and hosting guests for pricey meals.

Just a few weeks after acquiring the new venture, he filed a Planning Authority application to sanction many of the restaurant’s illegalities.

The Shift is also informed that the restaurant’s former owner, who made a killing from the seven-figure deal, was recently recruited as a labourer by the Gozo Ministry and has been put on the public payroll.

According to PA04147/22 submitted by architect Emanuel Vella, Agius now wants the Planning Authority to sanction a bar on an already paved area situated on a Natura 2000 site with idyllic views of Xlendi cliffs. He is also attempting to sanction other illegal structures such as the bar’s light roofing and toilet facilities.

The PA never issued an enforcement order for the illegalities and is now considering the application, which will most likely be approved against a fine.

The restaurant, which has one of the most stunning views in Gozo, started out in a typical Maltese fashion in 1995 as a small ‘temporary’ kiosk offering sunbeds for tourists.

Over time, and under both Nationalist and Labour administrations, the kiosk morphed into a full-blown five-star restaurant with tables and chairs for al fresco dining.

Mark Agius is no stranger to controversy and – together with Joseph Portelli and another partner, Comino-sunbed licensee Daniel Refalo – he has become one of the biggest developers in the country, known for getting the PA to greenlight what are considered to be ‘impossible’ development applications.

The trio is very close to several ministers, including Prime Minister Robert Abela.

Ta’ Dirjanu’s business career is also riddled with abuse of planning laws ignored by the authorities. The most extraordinary illegality, which continues to this day, is an illegal concrete batching plant set up in a quarry owned by the Lands Authority in Kercem.

Despite the blatant illegality being carried out in broad daylight, which has been reported consistently in the media, the government, the Planning Authority, and the Lands Authority have all turned a blind eye to the glaring abuse and have refrained from taking any action. Robert Abela has never commented on the abuse despite his close links to Portelli.

Rubbing salt into the wound, the government, through the Gozo Ministry, conducts regular business with the same illegal batching plant, including procuring concrete for government projects.

                           
                               
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M.Galea
M.Galea
1 month ago

A restaurant on a public area! Truly unbelievable!

simon oosterman
simon oosterman
1 month ago
Reply to  M.Galea

Not at all. Par for the course in today’s Malta.
I am sorry, you are being sarcastic of course.

Mariatheresa Micallef
Mariatheresa Micallef
1 month ago

Hekk sewwa u xieraq!
These people are eating all the cake they can possibly eat but one hopes that at the end they WILL get indigestion.

Greed
Greed
1 month ago

Or severe food poisoning

Ġwanni Fenek
Ġwanni Fenek
1 month ago

Kulħadd jitqalleb fis-sodda maħmuġa tal-korruzzjoni.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Tajjeb restaurant iehor li se nibbojkotja, u hekk ghandu jaghmel Il poplu malti halli dawn Il korrotti ma jibqawx jistannaw

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
1 month ago

It seems that the number of eateries decently meriting patronage in Xlendi – and in quite another number of areas in Gozo – is steadily on the decline!

Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

What is amazing is that this so called entraprenuer together with his partners in environmental crime, bought a restaurant, voting a 7 figure amount that has many illegalities.
Conclusion: either he and partners are crazy – which I think not.
Or, they know that a small fine will sanction this development. Goodness me, they must have some crystal ball that predicts the future!!!!
SHAME to all those who have allowed this and other environmental atrocities happen.

Michael Mifsud
Michael Mifsud
1 month ago
Reply to  Francis Said

A bank would never approve a loan to buy property which is not built legally. This means that the 7 figure comes all from own funds. How can a person at such a young age afford 7 figure illegal restaurants? 🤔

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael Mifsud
A v
A v
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Mifsud

Dak mhux il-kapillan allura jista’.

John Bonnici
John Bonnici
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Mifsud

Anyone smells money laundering???
FIAU still asleep?

Revel Barker
Revel Barker
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Mifsud

Bank of Portelli.

Frans Cassar
Frans Cassar
1 month ago
Reply to  Revel Barker

And perhaps Portelli is the frontman for someone else

Rhona Galea
Rhona Galea
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Mifsud

So true
In Malta always promises that the wages will increase,but instead the prices increase & we remain always the same. Then the foreigners they pay them with not only minimum wage & obviously the Maltese won’t work with that amount of money, it’s against human rights. I had a bad experience they had to pay me €4.50hourly,so better do something else where you can earn even more or DIY.
In fact that’s y a lot of corruption & criminalaty!! It’s a shame,cause Maltese people are very capable of doing things to& hard workers. There has to be a BIG change or else I don’t know what is going to happen. In my opinion we’re going to end up like our neighbours,not to mention any places. Then the foreigners end up better then us,& they already wants to command us!! In other words, what I want to say is,the poor remain poor or even poorer,which is not fair,& the wealthy keep up doing with their lives, though they’re touching them too with this situation!!

Dennis
Dennis
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhona Galea

F daz zibel ta pajjiz immexxi miz zibel triq wahda hawn.. TIVVUTAWLHOMX

Carmelo Borg
1 month ago

Bojkott
The shift news imissa tibda I xandar l ismijiet ta dawk li qeghdin jiksru il ligi

carlos
1 month ago
Reply to  Carmelo Borg

AGREE 100%.

Frans Cassar
Frans Cassar
1 month ago
Reply to  carlos

Having a website listing this kind of business would certainly help. The more I get to know, the more I boycott

Dennis
Dennis
1 month ago
Reply to  Carmelo Borg

Il problema go dal maqqjel li lanqas jekk ixandru l ismijiet ma jigri xejn…..jekk ikunu ta xi ministru jew ta xi miljunarju.

joseph
joseph
1 month ago

Tajjeb li jinkitbu miljun artiklu u li nikkumentaw( ilna ghaxar snin sejrin jekk), imma dawn in-nies kienu jaghmlu li jridu,,ghadhom jaghmlu li jridu u jibqghu jaghmlu li jridu. Ghax il-poplu(mhux jien) f’Marzu qallhom ” komplu hawdu u staghnew”.

David
David
1 month ago

To add to this article, rumours in Gozo are stating that they are in process to apply for the reclamation of the sea in Xlendi adjoining to this restaurant.

N Scerri
N Scerri
1 month ago

Tista ma tiekol imkien ghax fi tlett kwarti minnom tkun qed tpaxxi l Mafia.

carlos
1 month ago
Reply to  N Scerri

Agree, laundered money in restaurants concrete or second hand cars.

David
David
1 month ago

Ma nafx fejn huma l FIAU. Maz zghir biss?

D.Vella
D.Vella
1 month ago

Some people have golden votes.

carlos
1 month ago

Even gozo has turned to corrupt. Shame on you ta dirjanu, not because you do business, but because you do illegal things. Gozitans must boycott ta dirjanu and j p. if they really want to stop corruption otherwise it end up mafiamata,covered in concrete.

Carol
Carol
1 month ago

Sickening!

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