‘No permit needed’ for new road, garages and excavation – Infrastructure Malta

Work being carried out by Infrastructure Malta on a road just behind the Kalkara parish church “does not require a Planning Authority permit” according to IM CEO Ivan Falzon.

This is even though it involves the construction of at least two garages underneath the road, three-meter high service ramps, boundary walls, excavation works outside the scheming alignment, and the uprooting of several mature trees.

A visit to the site by The Shift shows at least two garages have been built beneath the schemed road, each serviced with a ramp, along with extensive excavation works on either side of the church, in an area that used to be a small garden frequented by elderly locals.

Falzon maintained that “IM works didn’t involve any building of garages” and that the work was limited to “the road structure and the road retaining walls”.

When asked how this could be the case considering the garages were situated beneath the new road and could only be built in conjunction, The Shift did not receive a response.

Apart from there being no permit visible for the construction of the road itself on the Planning Authority server, there are also no permits for any of the additional surrounding works.

The road’s construction started “toward the summer of 2021” according to Kalkara mayor Wayne Aquilina, matching a government notice issued on the 6th of July 2021 announcing the road’s construction.  Aquilina said that ancillary works were being done “in the last months” and referred The Shift back to Infrastructure Malta and the Church’s Curia when asked for further details.

When contacted, the Church’s Curia declined to give any details on the works, some of which were done on church land, referring The Shift to Infrastructure Malta and to previous statements made to The Times of Malta last October concerning just the uprooting of the trees.

In that report, the parish priest, Fr Brian Gialanze had initially completely denied having anything to do with the removal and excavation of the garden, only to later state that he had misunderstood the questions, and that the trees had been removed as they were causing damage to the boundary walls.

Both the Church’s Curia and Infrastructure Malta maintain that the removed trees were not protected and did not require an ERA permit to be uprooted, despite being in an Urban Conservation Area.

Plans for the schemed road (in red) clearly did not indicate any of the additional surrounding development – Photo: Wayne Aquilina

In April, The Shift reported how considerable development in and around private fields lining a newly reconstructed multi-million-euro road leading to Nadur in Gozo had been similarly carried out without permits.

The Shift had confirmed that while that government-funded project in Triq l-Imġarr was taking place, work in the surrounding area was concurrently being carried out using the road builders’ heavy machinery.

Infrastructure Malta has maintained that it has the authority to construct roads without going through the standard Planning Authority procedure, bypassing the need for a PA permit, despite having been fined by the PA multiple times for doing so.

In March 2021 a road connecting a cul-de-sac to an adjacent street in Dingli was similarly constructed by IM without a permit, uprooting trees and destroying farmland to the ire of locals. In that case, IM had argued that it did not need a permit to complete the works, as the road had been scheduled in the 2006 local plan.

At the time, the Planning Authority had stated that Infrastructure Malta was exempt from applying for a permit for certain types of development, including schemed roads.

Despite the authority’s stance, the recent Kalkara works raise questions as to how such extensive additional development could be allowed and possibly abetted under the same justification.


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12 days ago

I am missing in the text that a criminal complaint against “unknown” was filed with the police.

I smells like corruption.

Alfred Fenech
Alfred Fenech
12 days ago
Reply to  KLAUS

Wait a few months and we will see a permit being requested for a multistorey complex.

Francis Said
Francis Said
12 days ago

PA just a steamroller without brakes. How does this go down with unscrupulous developers?
Great would be an understatement!!!

11 days ago

Maybe the Shift could investigate the mess that is now Kalkara sea front.

Jonathan Bianco
Jonathan Bianco
10 days ago

I have come to expect anything done by any individual of influence where there is money to be made etc to be compliant with laws, but I honestly get really annoyed when any church rep take the same attitude.

Last edited 10 days ago by Jonathan Bianco

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