Register for SMS Alerts
or enter your details manually below...
First Name:
Last Name:
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.
Existing users
Sorry, we couldn't find those details.
Enter Email
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.

When ‘loss of parking’ cannot be claimed

Applicant who subsequently obtained permit for overlying dwellings required consent of the garage owner

Robert Musumeci
22 July 2016, 8:35am
The owner of a street level garage submitted a planning application to convert the garage into a commercial outlet. The garage, occupying an area of 50 square metres, forms part of a multi-storey complex in Zejtun. The dwelling on the upper level pertains to a different applicant who had acquired the overlying air space  independently of the garage and obtained a planning permit.

The Planning Authority turned down the applicant’s request on the basis that ‘the proposed development will remove the existing parking spaces for the building and so it would conflict with Structure Plan policy TRA 4 and PA circular 3/93 which seek to ensure that appropriate provision is made for off-street parking’.

In other words, the Authority reasoned out that the conversion of the garage into a commercial outlet would remove a parking space which is required to cater for the dwelling above, regardless of the fact that the garage and dwelling pertain to different owners. The Authority’s decision was subsequently confirmed by the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal on appeal, following which another appeal was lodged before the Court of Appeal (Inferior Jurisdiction) on a ‘point of law’.

In turn, the Court found in favour of the appellant who insisted that the owners of the garage and the overlying apartment were not the same. The Court made it clear that the Tribunal was obliged to investigate whether the dwelling on the upper floors was approved on the premise that the applicant’s garage was being considered in terms of the required parking provision in the dwelling application. In other words, the Court held that the Tribunal was in that case obliged to ascertain whether the garage owner gave his consent in the ‘dwelling application’. Against this background, the Court ordered the Tribunal to review its decision in line with the above legal rationale.

Upon reassessment, the Tribunal confirmed that the appellant’s garage was built prior and independently of the overlying dwelling. Moreover, the Tribunal found that the garage owner failed to give his consent to the applicant who subsequently obtained a permit for the overlying dwelling, and which in the opinion of the Court was in such case necessary. In the circumstances, the Tribunal concluded that the garage and the dwellings should therefore be assessed independently. In addition, the Tribunal observed that the garage floor area amounts to 50 square metres and thus ordered the Authority to issue the permit.

[email protected]

Robert Musumeci is a warranted architect and civil engineer. He also holds a Masters Degree in Conservation and a Law Degree.

Dr Robert Musumeci is a warranted advocate and a perit. He also holds a Masters Degree in ...
Latest Business News
Business News 11:38
From Rome to Malta, via Panama and Dubai: the Vatican bank claims its financial advisors and their Maltese firms used its millions to make a...
Business News 20-10
Banif Bank has rebranded into BNF Bank as it rolled out its new brand identity and divulged plans to expand into asset management and invest...
Business Comment 20-10
Correcting markets, Goldman’s contingency plans & Spain toughening up on Catalonia
Law Report 20-10
A plea claiming that an action is time barred, may be cancelled if one pleads that the claim itself is overstated
Business Comment 19-10
Earnings driving markets, Snapchat presenting next Winter Olympics and good times for IBM