The Court of Appeal has declared a Planning Authority permit awarded to Minster Ian Borg and his wife to build a pool in an agricultural field at their home, situated in the rural hamlet of Santa Katerina on the outskirts of Rabat, as illegal.
The Court of Appeal has also chastised the Planning Authority for going against its own policies to accommodate the minister.
Declaring the minister’s development as illegal, Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti ruled the objector, Noel Ciantar, had been correct from the outset when he argued the minister had no right to build a pool since the Local Plan did not allow for any such development.
The court’s judgement confirming the illegality places Borg in something of a legal quandary because even though he was aware the permit was being challenged, he still went ahead with the pool project and completed it in 2021.
When Borg was asked by The Shift at the time to explain why he was carrying on with the development when its very legality was being challenged before the courts, the minister, who at the time had the Planning Authority under his remit, dismissed the questions and insisted he was doing nothing wrong.
It is not yet known what will become of the minister’s pool now that the appeals court has declared it to be illegal.
Borg had been insisting for years on building the pool and entertainment facilities in the field he acquired under dubious circumstances, even though the planning policy and local plan covering Santa Katerina valley do not allow for swimming pools on rural land, as confirmed once again yesterday by the appeals court.
The saga dates back to 2018 when Borg first applied to build his pool in the field. Although it was against planning policies, the Planning Authority nevertheless issued the permit, which was later confirmed under appeal by the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal.
The objector challenged the issue before the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the permit.
Refusing to accept the court’s decision, the minister tried again by filing a fresh application – fronted by architect Colin Zammit, a regular beneficiary of government direct orders.
The new plans applied minor modifications to the development’s parameters. The Planning Authority once again gave the minister permission to proceed, but that permission has been struck down, once again, in court.
The minister went ahead nevertheless and completed the pool, in the process making a mockery of the planning regulations for which he had been responsible as minister. Ian Stafrace, the former CEO of the Planning Authority, was Borg’s legal representation throughout the process.
Another example for how the PL network works for the already privileged. They have no sense of what ‘conflict of interests’ means and always use their position to get their ways with the authorities they are superior to by the minstry they hold.
Looks like some sort of ‘luxury competition’ among the high ranking PLers to me and one knows too well who’s the one who started it. The man who got himself a (diplomatic) ‘golden passport’.
Possibly protection for laundering his money. Through a diplomatic bag , anything can be carried .Diamonds , Gold , Cash , Drugs , Arms , dirty underwear , condoms , Egrant Certificates……………….
That diplomatic bag would probably be the size of a trunk. A very heavy one to carry.
the govenment will now proceed to change the local plan to accomodate the pool….simples
He broke the law. Like Justyne did for her lover. Like Anton Refalo did for his ego. And they accuse others of being arrogant.
Thanks for the reminder to Justyne as this case also came to my mind when I was reading the article. The thing is just, the arrogant never reflect on themselves and therefore, never realise their own arrogance and even if they do, they don’t care. As long as the ivory tower they have locked in themselves remains solid.
Well, history has seen plenty of empires crumbling when the end of their time was due, and their big leaders were going down with it.
The rule of the PL won’t last for ever, with more people being convinced to vote them out and former vote abstentionists won back to vote for change, 2027 might be the year of change (once again, such as it was 1987 when the MLP was voted out of power).
Normally there is a fine everyday until you put everything as it was , I hope that this pool will be covered with soil as it was , or this is a dream .
Ian Borg should be reported to the Standards Commissioner as soon as possible.
To be declared Santo Subito e Bagnato.
The pool again !!! he must be a water sign.
There was always the option of finding another solution instead of going in the wrong direction, a massive portable pool even a hot tub.
Is that a “thumbs up’ sign or is it the middle finger?
So the courts find individuals of breaking the laws of the country , yet the courts do not order the AG to take action against these law breakers.
According to a self styled Labourist sal-mewt of my acquaintance, that’s not corruption, just Borg being wise!
To loosely quote the fella, heqq, firstly, if he could get away with it, and secondly, if you were him, wouldn’t you do the same? And anyway, it’s there now, and wouldn’t it be such a waste to force him to give it up? Don’t forget how much good he makes, miskin!