Penza allowed to keep batching plant in Hal Far and rent public land to others

Carmelo Penza, who built the Labour Party’s headquarters in Hamrun in the 90s, will be allowed to keep his concrete and asphalt batching plants in Hal Far on public land he is turning into a warehousing complex to be leased to third parties.

The Shift is informed that through an eleventh-hour deal, Prime Minister Robert Abela instructed INDIS Malta – the government agency responsible for industrial parks – to allow Penza to keep operating his polluting plants from the industrial estate instead of relocating them, as previously planned, to a disused quarry in Mqabba, close to the residents.

The move, announced by the prime minister himself just a few days ago during the MEP electoral campaign, is expected to save Labour hundreds of votes. Many residents in the area, including from Mqabba, Kirkop, Qrendi, and Zurrieq, threatened not to vote if Penza was allowed to relocate his plants close to their residences.

A petition, fronted by Nationalist MP Toni Bezzina against the relocation, was signed by hundreds of residents opposing Penza’s plans.

Sources at the Planning Authority, which had already agreed to give Penza the original relocation permit, revealed that, through the direct intervention of the Office of the Prime Minister, Penza has now been allowed to keep his plants at Hal Far and drop his Mqabba relocation plans.

“The prime minister was afraid that if the Planning Authority proceeded to allow Penza to use the quarry for his batching plants, hundreds of voters in staunch Labour strongholds would be lost. This led to the government reaching an agreement, closing both eyes, to allow Penza to have his way,” sources told The Shift.

As a result of this settlement, Penza dropped his application in Mqabba. Instead, he will be presenting a new design for his plans to develop public land in Hal Far to fit in both the batching plants and his new warehousing project.

The approval will also be fast-tracked as it will be made through a Development Notification Order (DNO) – a quick permitting process that does not require any studies – reducing Penza’s costs for his new business venture on public land.

Public land on industrial estates is supposed to be used strictly for manufacturing purposes.

The government allowed Penza to flout the rules for years, and now it is allowing him to go a step further to profit from public land he intends to develop into warehouses to lease to third parties.

Penza is not the only one flaunting industrial estate rules. This abuse is widespread. The Shift revealed in a series of articles that the park in Xewkija, Gozo, built on public property, has been taken over by developer Joseph Portelli and his associates and is being used as a storage facility for their private construction business.

Sharon Penza, Prime Minister Robert Abela’s office coordinator.

Penza’s latest business venture using public land is being fronted by his company BIP Ltd, controlled by his daughters, Sandra Axiak and Francesca Penza.

His other daughter, Sharon Penza, a director and beneficiary in many of her father’s companies, is also the office coordinator of Prime Minister Robert Abela’s private secretariat at Castille.

She was also appointed to sit on the board of directors of government entity Engineering Resources Ltd.


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simon oosterman
simon oosterman
17 days ago

It is all so blatant!

17 days ago

primministru primkorrott.

Carmelo borg
17 days ago

NAHSEB li dawn il prim ministri tal lajbur JIRTU IL TITLU MIN WIEHED GHAL L IEHOR

17 days ago

Bonehead Bobby will do ANYTHING for a vote. He knows he will never win an election without the payoffs and bribes to the sheep.

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