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James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, and one of the newspaper's main political analysts. Apart from blogging regularly on politics, James Debono won the IGM national press awards' environmental reporter of the year in 2011 for his report showing how a beverage company that extracted over 51,000 of cubic metres of water every year from the national water table for free, was awarded an environmental award by the University of Malta. Debono also heads Mediatoday's survey unit, which has conducted polls on all electoral appointments since 2008, correctly predicting the outcome of all elections and the 2011 divorce referendum.

He read history and obtained his Masters' degree from the University of Malta, and in the past worked for TV production house Where's Everybody before joining MaltaToday in 2005. A co-founder of Moviment Graffitti and active in Moviment ghall-Ambjent, he served as a media officer for Alternattiva Demokratika - the Green Party. James is married and has a son. His interests include listening to music and reading.
14-storey hotel approved in Sliema
Townscapes 07-09

The Planning Authority has approved the demolition of the Sliema Hotel, to make way for a new 14-storey, four star hotel approved on the basis of three different height polices approved in past years.

Marsaxlokk hotel approved instead of Southport restaurant on town promenade
Townscapes 01-09

The Planning Directorate  described plans for the hotel  which include the demolition of the townhouse retaining part of the facade as  'a good example in urban regeneration'

Floodgates opened for Xemxija and Coast Road billboards
Townscapes 31-08

The regulations also foresee 15 billboards along Triq is-Salini in an area where only five are presently allowed

Palumbo exported grit before Planning Authority issued enforcement against shipyard
Environment 31-08

Palumbo was granted a permit to export sand blasting grit two years after taking over the shipyards, but contrary to claims by PA chief Johann Buttigieg, this was done prior to a PA enforcement action in 2014 against the alleged deposit of grit under a concrete platform

[ANALYSIS] Who will take the Opposition forward?
National 29-08

James Debono outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the PN’s four leadership candidates as voting time approaches for the PN’s General Council

MaltaToday Survey | 55% cannot choose between any of the PN contenders
Data & Surveys 28-08

More than a third of PN voters and 55% of those interviewed cannot choose between the candidates on offer for the party leadership

Almost half of Maltese tourists use coaches while on holiday
Travel 24-08

Surprisingly the survey shows that respondents in Malta (47%) and Cyprus (44%), both of which are surrounded by sea, are the most likely to travel to other countries using a coach

Police exempted from filing planning permits
Townscapes 24-08

Law exempting police from seeking planning permits comes in force but the legal notice was tweaked to give the ERA a say on any ODZ development and not just in scheduled areas like Natura 2000 sites

Car park for unapproved St Julian's high rise approved
Townscapes 23-08

The Planning Authority has approved a car park for a yet to be approved 15 storey development proposed by Gozitan developer Joseph Portelli

Delimara hotel developer: ‘I won’t privatise Kalanka beach’
Townscapes 23-08

Kenneth Abela’s proposed hotel in Delimara has attracted 450 objections. Unfazed, he tells James Debono why he is adamant on a tunnel to connect the hotel to the remote Kalanka beach

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