47 years of illegalities on public land written-off for Ta’ Qali club UNO

The Planning Authority has sanctioned some 47 years of illegal construction and development at the Ta’Qali nightclub, Numero Uno, ordering the owners to pay a mere €50,000 fine.

In a decision taken on Thursday, the Planning Authority’s planning board, headed by the former boss of the government’s privatisation unit, Manuel Camilleri, voted to endorse the positive recommendation by the planning directorate to regularise all illegalities.

Acknowledging that the nightclub, originally a restaurant in a large garden, had over decades morphed into a fully blown outdoor disco, with little in the way of proper permits or authorisations, it still gave the green light against payment of the fine.

The Planning Authority based its decision on the consent given by the government through the Lands Authority, which owns the site and leases it to the entertainment industry businessmen.

“Although the proposed development does not conform to the Revised Ta’ Qali Action Plan, which designates Club Numero Uno for relocation, the site is government-owned land, and clearance has been submitted from the Lands Authority,” the Planning Authority’s directorate said.

It also insisted that the sanctioning shows “compatibility between the club and the surrounding context”.

The venue UNO at Ta’ Qali

According to the 2012 Ta’ Qali Action Plan, Club Numero Uno was to be relocated elsewhere as it was deemed unacceptable in the area. This came off the back of longstanding citizen complaints over noise pollution, the presence of thousands of revellers multiple nights a week, and the raft of illegal modifications and extensions.

However, nothing has been done since then, and according to the Planning Authority, the decision to relocate the entertainment mecca has been “delayed”.

The sanctioned illegalities, spread over 1,700 square meters of public land, include fixed canopies, tents, toilets, dance platforms, and bars, all built without permits.

The Planning Authority ignored objections to this sanctioning, including by Din l-Art Helwa, which insisted that “after years of benefitting from the unregulated commercial use of this site, the applicant must not be awarded further through the subsequent sanctioning of this illegal commercial development without full regard for the applicable plans and policies about the site.”

The application was fronted by Edward Zammit Tabona and Architect Edwin Mintoff on behalf of Odel Ltd. However, the management of UNO has changed hands several times since 1976, when it was established.

Most of the illegal structures were erected when the club was under the management of the Eden Leisure Group’s Kevin Decesare, who remains a shareholder.

Other shareholders include Decesare’s sons, Kevin Jr and Shaun, Zammit Tabona and his sister Francesca Manduca and Trevor Camilleri, Nicolas Spiteri and Gerald Debono of 356 Entertainment Group.

All government entities, including the Environment and Resources Authority, the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage and the Malta Tourism Authority, agreed with the sanctioning.

                           

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7 Comments
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Aggie
Aggie
4 months ago

Crime does pay, as long as you can pay the fine!

Greed
Greed
4 months ago
Reply to  Aggie

And as long as you have the PA in your pocket and are well connected

Osservatore
Osservatore
4 months ago

Simply goes to show that if you do something illegal for long enough, this is not only condoned but rewarded. Attard residents have long since complained about the noise pollution till 4AM. To no avail. Reporting to the police is futile as they just say that Uno has an MTA permit. Something needs to be done, but seems that nothing can be done! The message here is simple. Breaking the law generally pays.

Joseph
Joseph
4 months ago

Amazing..I am shocked! This is how millions are made, while the workers thrive to make ends meet because they have to pay the mortgage.. one scandal after another, impossible to keep track or remember.
This is the sort of deal lawbreakers get..
So curious to know how Polidano settled his debts with government..am sure it was something similar

Joey Falzon
Joey Falzon
4 months ago

ahhhhhhh…The Decesares again, again and again, and again…….The Zammot Tabonas…again…and again…Why do the same people come up when these illegalities take place and get scott free with a slap on the hand

Last edited 4 months ago by Joey Falzon
Steve
Steve
4 months ago

Go to court and challenge this decision

Colonel Gaddafi
Colonel Gaddafi
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

In a normal country, yes. The institutions are only working to get down the plebs with harsh sentences. The elite mingles on in Malta.

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