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Environment authority hits out at ‘malpractice’ of PA giving blessing to illegal buildings

Environment Resources Authority calls out “malpractice of first carrying out development outside development zones without the required permits and subsequently expecting the regulatory authorities to retroactively sanction a fait accompli.”

james
James Debono
28 July 2016, 9:38am
ERA has come out strongly against sanctioning of planning irregularities at The Arches in Victoria, Gozo
ERA has come out strongly against sanctioning of planning irregularities at The Arches in Victoria, Gozo
The Environment Resources Authority has come out strongly against sanctioning of planning irregularities at The Arches, a roadside inn in Triq il-Hammiet in Victoria, Gozo.

The hotel’s owners have applied to regularise illegalities deviating from a permit issued in 1969 consisting of a basement and a pool and to turn the roadside inn into a boutique hotel. Aerial photos on the authority’s website show that the pool was developed illegally between 2008 and 2012.

In submissions to the Planning Authority, the Environment Resources Authority lashed against “the malpractice of first carrying out development within ODZ (outside development zone) without the required permits and subsequently expecting the regulatory authorities to retroactively sanction a fait accompli.”

Developments as seen in aerial photos taken in 1978
Developments as seen in aerial photos taken in 1978
Developments as seen in aerial photos taken in 2004
Developments as seen in aerial photos taken in 2004
Developments as seen in aerial photos taken in 2008
Developments as seen in aerial photos taken in 2008
Developments as seen in aerial photos taken in 2012
Developments as seen in aerial photos taken in 2012
ERA has also described the irregular pool as incompatible with the rural characteristics of the area and as a “flagrant example” of disregard for environmental considerations.

According to ERA the approval of this application would create an “undesirable precedent for similar future developments in the area.”

The owners have committed themselves to remove a number of demountable tents, which were also developed irregularly.

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...
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