Appeal hearing against flats in Ggantija slated for January as opposition surges

Tens of objectors have already asked the Environmental and Planning Tribunal (EPRT) to be officially able to follow the proceedings of an appeal against the turning of an old house into a block of flats next to Gozo’s world heritage site, Ggantija.

As the deadline for objectors to file their request with the EPRT ends Friday, the EPRT has scheduled the first session of the appeal for January.

Sources close to the EPRT described the interest in this appeal as “much higher than usual” in the context of frustration from locals over the Planning Authority’s permit issuance despite multiple expert views that it should not be given the go-ahead.

The house and field the proposed development would replace.

Last November, the Planning Authority approved the project by developer Emmanuel Farrugia. It would see the demolition of an old house and the construction of 22 apartments and 20 subterranean garages in its place.

The permitted development is just metres away from Gozo’s most famous and historic tourist attraction, the Ggantija megalithic temple, which dates back thousands of years to the Neolithic era.

Despite hundreds of objections and expert advice against granting this permit, including by the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage, the Planning Authority ignored them and issued the permit. The authority also ignored the need for a Heritage Impact Assessment, an obligation for any proposal within a UNESCO World Heritage Site buffer zone.

According to the developer and the Planning Authority, the development site is not within the official buffer zone established by UNESCO, but this is contested by NGOs Din l-Art Helwa, the Astronomical Society of Malta, Għawdix, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA), and the Ramblers’ Society of Malta. They claim the authority was misguided on this issue to facilitate the granting of the permit.

Through various statements, the NGOs clarified that if the EPRT turns down their appeal, they are prepared to continue the fight in court.

So far, Malta’s representative to UNESCO, Gozitan Monsignor Joe Vella Gauci, has refused to state his position on this development and has ignored questions from The Shift.


Sign up to our newsletter

Stay in the know

Get special updates directly in your inbox
Don't worry we do not spam
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 months ago

Cut your coat according to your man-of-the-cloth?
Wouldn’t surprise me if he had ‘I Drink Your Milkshake’ tattooed on his scalp.

John Bonnici
John Bonnici
2 months ago

‘ So far, Malta’s representative to UNESCO, Gozitan Monsignor Joe Vella Gauci, has refused to state his position on this development and has ignored questions from The Shift. ‘

Did the Monsignor already receive a brown envelope?

H. Azzopardi
2 months ago
Reply to  John Bonnici

I think you’re right Mr Bonnici , money talks and money walks are great example how those households in Qala and Nadur were betrayed by the clergy

fpipieof silver

Charles Falzon, Sliema
Charles Falzon, Sliema
2 months ago

The Planning Commission members should all resign for having approved this application.

2 months ago

Mafialand who gives a shit? We’re ruled by philistines and criminals, what do you really expect? 😏

Related Stories

Our commitment to transparency: financial statement for 2022
We retain our commitment to transparency as a community-funded
Lands Authority tender to legalise public land takeover after false declarations
The Lands Authority allowed a block of flats to

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo