PA initiates action against Qala illegal pools, minister’s pool untouched

The Planning Authority (PA) has started to take legal action against the building of two illegal pools by a company owned by Gozitan developer Joseph Portelli and his associates.

Portelli illegally continued to build the pools while NGO Moviment Graffitti and the Qala local council appealed the pools’ sanctioning permit. Shortly after, The Shift reported that the Court of Appeal revoked the permit, declaring the construction illegal.

Reacting to Movement Graffitti’s protests and threat of direct action, Planning Authority CEO Oliver Magro issued an enforcement order against the illegal development with daily fines.

Portelli’s Excel Investments, which he shares with developers Daniel Refalo and Mark Agius, known as Ta’ Dirjanu, will have to pay a measly €50 a day fine until they remove the illegal development.

According to the rules, the fine is capped at a maximum of €50,000, a sum that doesn’t even cover the cost of a garage at the 164-apartment block built by the same developers in Qala.

Prime Minister Robert Abela had pledged to reform such policies, which currently allow developments to continue while under appeal, but he has failed to deliver on his promises.

In 2022, the two large pools started being built in Qala without a permit. After their completion, Excel Investments sold all the apartments, with the price factoring in the illegal pools and the sanctioning of the illegalities.

The Planning Authority granted the permit despite hundreds of objections and a refusal recommendation by its directorate.

However, the Qala local council and Moviment Graffitti took the issue to court, and Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti revoked the permit.

However, Magro has been slow to take legal action.

Those who bought the apartments in Qala invested in the properties thinking they could spend time at the communal pools and gardens that complement their apartments. The court’s decisions will necessarily impact their investments.

Different treatment for Minister Ian Borg

Meanwhile, Oliver Magro has still not taken any action on an identical case in which the Court revoked another illegal permit issued by the Planning Authority for an illegal pool on ODZ land by Minister Ian Borg in the hamlet of Santa Katerina in Rabat.

After the foreign affairs minister was granted a permit in March 2023, the Court revoked it, declaring it illegal and condemning the Planning Authority for its abuse.

Pressed for more than a year by NGOs, in parliament, and through the media, Oliver Magro has, so far, refused to issue the enforcement notice as required by law.

The Planning Authority has not yet issued an enforcement notice accompanied by the mandatory daily fines, and Minister Borg has not started any work to remove his illegal development.

                           

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George Mangion
George Mangion
1 month ago

Harsh PA Laws for the plebs but much easier ones for the illuminati.
After 2 year protests such infringments will be sanctioned by a ridiculous fine.

Last edited 1 month ago by George Mangion
Ganni l-ahmar
Ganni l-ahmar
1 month ago

Ha naraw jekk il-kumitat tal-Enviornment tal-Kurja Maltija hux se johrog xi dikjarazzjoni biex jara li Portelli & Co jobdu l-ligi u jnehhu l-pools li bnew illegalment. Ta’ min ifakkar li din l-art fejn inbnew dawn il-monstrizita ta appartamenti kollha u r-raba tal-madwar kienu tal-Abbazia di sant’Antonio, li l-Arcisqof Charles Scicluna ghogbu jghaddiha lill-avukati zvillupaturi meta hatar lil avukat Patrick Valentino bhala rettur ta’ din il-Fondazzjoni, minkejja li fuq l-atti originali li waqqfu din il-Fondazzjoni ghal-opri religjuzi kien hemm car u tond li fin-nuqqas ta’ dixxendent dirett tal-Fondatrici ghandu jinhatar qassis bhala rettur (amministrattur). L-arcisqof kien qal li ma kienx jaf li din l-art kienet se tigi zvillupata. Forsi l-Eccellenza haseb li kienu se jizirghu l-basal u l-kabocci.

Keith
Keith
1 month ago

Everyone knows how Oliver Magro (bobby’s unlubricated puppet) came into that position, does anyone think he would actually do something of value, like doing what he’s supposed and paid to do especially after the court itself declared something illegal.

He would clean Ian’s pool using his own toothbrush given the chance.

Mary Mary
Mary Mary
1 month ago
Reply to  Keith

and his toilet probably…

wenzu
wenzu
1 month ago

Everybody is equal(sic) under this corrupt MLP government.

wenzu
wenzu
1 month ago

By the same ticket, Portelli can keep his pools as long as Borg keeps his.

Cikku
Cikku
1 month ago

Dont hold your breath too much waiting for anything drastic. Apparently JP and his kabal have already reassured the owners of the properties affected telling them that the pools will remain, and that these actions are nothing but a small pre election stunt by the authorities. And this makes sense – Ian Borg’s pool irks a handful of people, so a few votes for which it is not worth doing anything. However the Qala project, between the owners and those who objected, the numbers are much bigger. So my understanding is that now they will continue with the charade of the daily fines, which reaches the capping in three years. In the meantime JP and his kabal will further corrupt Camilleri to get their way.

Lenny
Lenny
1 month ago

I think we are all missing the forest for the trees. Those apartments are ugly as hell. We are ruining this country and it seems that this is not stopping even if the PL loses the election.

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