Developer bags a third of Qajjenza site with plans to take over seafront public land

Plans by the secretary general of the Malta Developers Association, Paul Attard, to seize a large tract of prime public land in Qajjenza and turn it into a huge development comprising hundreds of flats are at a very advanced stage despite the government’s declarations to the contrary.

While most of the seafront land, owned by Enemalta and the Lands Authority, which used to serve as an LPG plant, is still government property, Attard already forked out €12 million to sign a promise of sale agreement with private third parties to buy a third (the privately-owned part) of the site.

The Shift is informed that the promise of sale, sealed in 2021, is being financed through a public bond issued by Attard’s Plan Group last year, which was fully subscribed.

Through this promise of sale, some 14,000 square metres of the Qajjenza LPG plant, the privately-owned part of the massive site, was acquired after the government released it from public use to be transferred to Attard.

Most of the land bought by Attard, some 8,700 square metres is on ODZ land, which according to the current rules, cannot be developed.

However, the rest of the portion he bought, which can be developed, crucially touches the rest of the plot – the remaining two-thirds of the site owned by the government.

What’s the catch?

To turn the seafront area into a multi-million-euro project, Attard needs to acquire the rest of the land that still belongs to the public.

Significantly, in the eventuality that both Enemalta and the Lands Authority decide to issue a tender to sell the public land, Paul Attard will now have the right of first refusal because of the adjacent land he already bought.

The plot of land earmarked for private development.

Rival developers told The Shift they smelt a rat a long time ago, adding that for Attard to fork out €12 million for the adjacent land, half of it in ODZ, he must have been “very well advised that he would also be able to acquire the rest eventually.”

Attard did not even wait for developments. Through a Planning Control application filed shortly after the promise of sale, he presented designs covering all the site, including the two-thirds still owned by the government.

To do this, he was given the green light from both the Lands Authority and Enemalta.

According to local plan rules, the entire area can only take three floors. Yet Attard is asking the Planning Authority to allow him to build six blocks, going up to eight floors, amassing hundreds of flats.

The architect who worked on the project’s initial plans was Nadine Micallef, the wife of Glenn Micallef, who, until a few days ago, was the prime minister’s chief of staff.

William Wait, the chairman of Malta Enterprise, is also a non-executive director on the board of Paul Attard’s Plan Group.

Government silence

Developments so far imply that Attard’s plans are supported by the government.

While the Lands Authority released its possession of the private part of the former LPG plant, allowing its private owners to negotiate and conclude with Attard, both Enemalta and the Lands Authority gave their consent for Attard to file his Planning Control application to rezone the whole area. The Planning Authority could not consider Attard’s application without the two government authorisations.

Miriam Dalli, responsible for Enemalta, is elected from Birzebbugia, has also been evasive when asked about the project.

She has refused to give a clear answer about the government’s intentions for the land in question.

                           

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M.Galea
M.Galea
16 days ago

Fejn hu l poplu? Fejn hi l mejta opposizzjoni?? Art pubblika moghtija lil privat biex jibnuha appartamneti halli jaqsmu l kejk bejniethom ghad detriment ta pajjizna! Mafiaaa!

Joseph Micallef
Joseph Micallef
15 days ago
Reply to  M.Galea

Nahseb trid izzid xi haga ohra.
FEJN HU L-KUNSILL TA BIRZEBBUGA?
Dan gie mwiegged differenti.
Fejn huma l-green areas li qalet il-ministru qabel l-ahhar elezzjoni generali?
Kunsill tal-laqgha hemm Birzebbuga.

Mick
Mick
15 days ago
Reply to  M.Galea

This development needs to be stopped, it’s the wanton robbery of public land to appease some developer who has his hand up the party’s arse. People protests work every time, we need boots on the ground and French style charisma with lots of flares until this is revoked, Grafitti please take this one on and advertise for support you will get it .

Orchard Road
Orchard Road
14 days ago
Reply to  M.Galea

Mhux talli ma naghtux aktar bajjiet anzi minn ghandu ingeghluh jaqsamhom mall-Maltin u l -Ghawdxin li nhallsu t- taxxi ghalihom !!

Zhuhsi
Zhuhsi
16 days ago

The question that begs an answer is “How is Mr. Attard financing the € 12 million?”

Anthony Nani
Anthony Nani
15 days ago
Reply to  Zhuhsi

He got the money from people in Malta who bought the developer’s bond. It is in the story above.

Mick
Mick
15 days ago
Reply to  Zhuhsi

Funny Money, for sure, there’s still billions to be washed.

Gordon Cook
Gordon Cook
16 days ago

And here we go again. Developers running ( ruining) the country while the Government looks on helplessly.

M.Galea
M.Galea
15 days ago
Reply to  Gordon Cook

Looking helplessly??? Please!!! They are all in it together!! The developer just show his name! Dont be gullible!

J. Degabriele
J. Degabriele
15 days ago

No end to their greed!

Last edited 15 days ago by J. Degabriele
Gerald Goodwin
Gerald Goodwin
15 days ago

Yet even MORE corruption from a PMthat only recently promised everyone there is going to be changes , What changed.

wenzu
wenzu
6 days ago
Reply to  Gerald Goodwin

When Squarepants is getting a cut, don’t expect any change.

S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
14 days ago

Yet another mega project by developers who have gone rogue empowered by “authorities” who instead of reining them in continue to prostrate themselves before them and even hand them public assets to carry out their barbaric plans of huge apartment blocks out of all proportion with the surroundings.

S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
14 days ago

“According to local plan rules, the entire area can only take three floors. Yet Attard is asking the Planning Authority to allow him to build six blocks, going up to eight floors, amassing hundreds of flats.” Should this not be a non-starter PM?

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