A sports facility in Qrendi is seeking Planning Authority sanctioning more than one and a half years after its construction concluded, despite being inaugurated in January 2022 by Inclusion Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli.
The obstacle course racing facility, which was billed as an inclusionary project offering free entry to children on the autism spectrum, was built in collaboration with The Club Fitness Centre, which makes commercial use of the facility, charging admission for other users.
Following its inauguration early last year, The Club’s owner, Julian Briffa, submitted a Planning Authority application last March seeking to sanction the premises.
The facility was constructed on what was formerly a dilapidated football ground with a €20,000 investment from the inclusion ministry.
At its inauguration, Farrugia Portelli said the project “would benefit the local community through sports activities,” not mentioning its lack of a planning permit.
The application PA/3617/23 calls for the “consolidation and sanctioning” of the existing facility, seeking to include additional minor alterations to existing structures.
Several residents objected to sanctioning the facility through representation on the planning authority website.
While many noted they did not oppose the area being used as a sports facility, they claimed the development was causing an inconvenience to residents due to “loud music played at different times of the day” and unshielded lighting, which is “inappropriate and causes nuisance to surrounding third parties,” among other objections.
A case officer report for the sports facility’s sanctioning application notes a €3,200 fine is payable but raises no objections to the development’s sanctioning.
The sanctioning permit is currently awaiting a planning authority decision with a case officer recommendation for its approval and a decision target date set for 14 October.