Portelli’s illegally built hotel in Mellieha put on the market for €4.2 million

Gozitan developer Joseph Portelli and his associates, including Mark Agius (known as Ta’ Dirjanu), Daniel Refalo, and Peter Borg, the co-owner of Welbees supermarket, are openly defying a court order by trying to sell an illegally built hotel in Mellieha.

Despite a court ruling last year revoking the permit for the Mellieha building, declaring that the area should never have been used to build a hotel, Portelli and his associates have started advertising the sale of their illegal building for €4.2 million.

Masking the illegal hotel as a “guesthouse with 46 rooms” and describing the area they ruined as “a part of paradise,” the group of businessmen also suggests to potential buyers that the building could be used as a “personal retreat” house.

One of the ads marketing the sale of Portelli’s illegal hotel in Mellieha.

The building, at the entrance of Mellieha, is part of a sprawling complex in the area where the iconic Bellview bakery used to operate.

Apart from the illegal hotel and two extra floors, which should have been dismantled as they were deemed irregular by the court, Portelli and his associates also built 120 apartments, most of which have been sold.

Following the court’s decision last year, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo, from Mellieha, approved the permit when he formed part of the Planning Authority in 2019. Later, he declared that the Malta Tourism Authority would not issue an operating licence for the hotel once it was declared illegal.

His cabinet colleague, Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, responsible for the Planning Authority, declined to state whether the government would order Portelli to remove the two illegally built floors.

The Planning Authority awarded Portelli the permit in breach of its own policies. It allowed the development to be increased by an additional two storeys,  erroneously using a policy for hotel development introduced by Labour in 2014.

The policy allows hotel developers an extra two floors above the area’s height limitations in favour of “quality tourism”.

However, the court later declared that a permit for a hotel should never have been issued as the area is residential. Thus, the hotel permit was revoked, along with the extra two storeys built with the help of the Planning Authority.

Moreover, the large plot of land on which the illegal development was built used to be public land. Left abandoned for years, the government had initially intended to turn it into a public garden and a building for the Mellieha local council.

Everything changed as soon as Labour returned to power in 2013. The public land was instead sold to Peter Borg of Welbees and his associates, who later struck a deal with Joseph Portelli.

The development’s architect, Joseph Bondin, is also a shareholder in the same investment, possibly in breach of the architect’s professional code of ethics.

                           

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22 Comments
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M.Galea
M.Galea
23 days ago

U din l art kienet tal gvern moghtija lil privat biex ikompli jsir miljunarju min fuq artna! Tal blih u tal-misthija! Kollha flimkien jieklu mil l istess kejk u l poplu rieqed ma jaghmel xejn! Aghar mil Mafia!

Raymond Vella
Raymond Vella
23 days ago

F’ cirkustanzi bhal dawn Il-qorti ghanda lkollha l-poter li tordna konfiska tal-propjeta’ involuta. Nahseb li b’hekk jinqata’ l-abuz.

Christopher Hitch Borg
Christopher Hitch Borg
21 days ago
Reply to  Raymond Vella

Il-qorti ghandha l-poter, il-poplu ghandu l-poter, pero ma nuzawhx, ghax mhedijin nimpikaw bejnietna.

M.Galea
M.Galea
20 days ago

Dik hi l-verita w ghalhekk jaghmlu li qed jaghmlu!

charles camilleri
charles camilleri
19 days ago

The political will is missing. On the contrary, those responsible know that the Govt will never dare turn against them.

S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
23 days ago

The Maltese islands are a wilderness, with the government on the side of the greedy savages instead of backing those civilized inhabitants of these islands who side with the law and a liveable environment. A final Court judgement and yet for these brigands and barbarians its business as usual and the “authorities” simply whimper and tremble.

Simon Carbonaro
Simon Carbonaro
23 days ago

The MAFIA clan.

Katya Compagno
Katya Compagno
23 days ago

What an absolutely disgusting situation done by disgusting people.Shame on you for destroying your own country just for money. A SHAME TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY.

Anthony Calleja
Anthony Calleja
23 days ago

If as the column goes the building was built disregarding the rules imposed, a government with balls should either fell it down or confiscate ,take it over and give for free to young couples or eligible people to inhabit !

Robert pace bonello is
Robert pace bonello is
23 days ago

Is Portelli the Prime minister or does he OWN THE PL? Didn’t know WELLBEES were involved in this shit.

M.Galea
M.Galea
20 days ago

They are all together! The PL just hide after Portelli s name! Get it in your head once and for all!!

Alfred Debono
Alfred Debono
23 days ago

These people are running Malta

M.Galea
M.Galea
20 days ago
Reply to  Alfred Debono

Nope! They are all in business together! Like Portelli, they just show their names! They are all eating from the same cake!

Marjo
Marjo
22 days ago

Qabda hallelin arroganti u bla skrupli u l-PA il-qahba tal-kuntratturi u d-developers!

Joseph
Joseph
22 days ago

Well it is now the rule that these big shots defy the court.
Caqnu did it when he built the lido restaurant, parking etc etc etc in St Julians next to the MARRIOT HOTEL. Not only was it sanctioned for less than the price of à 1 car garage, but ROBERT ABELA once again went to do the opening just like he had done in Hal Farrug..truly MAFIA STYLR ETHICS

wenzu
wenzu
22 days ago

there’s one of the reasons I don’t shop at welbees.

Betta Ellul
Betta Ellul
22 days ago
Reply to  wenzu

And that’s why I won’t be shopping there ever again!

Fred
Fred
22 days ago

Mhux hekk…dawn kollha misshom jaqilaw multa enormi + licenzji jigu kancellati. Qazewh pajjiz

Last edited 22 days ago by Fred
PAUL ATTARD
PAUL ATTARD
22 days ago

MEPA; is-Sahta ta’ pajjizna!

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
21 days ago

THE PLANNING AUTHORITY IS A DISGRACE TO THE
MALTESE ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.

Gordon Cook
Gordon Cook
21 days ago

Yet another thumbing his nose to the “authorities ” he is Portelli and he does what he wants with impunity.

Carmelo borg
21 days ago

Il poplu ghandu jitallem JIBBOKTJA lil dawn in negozjanti .
Caw caw WELLBEES

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