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Private land falling under proposed public domain sites will retain title

Parliamentary secretary for planning Chris Agius reassures private land owners that public domain legislation will not impinge upon their rights

Miriam Dalli
18 July 2017, 9:46am
Parliamentary secretary for planning, Chris Agius
Parliamentary secretary for planning, Chris Agius
Land which is private and falls within any of the proposed 24 sites being proposed as public domain will retain their private title, parliamentary secretary for planning Chris Agius has said.

Addressing his first media conference at the Planning Authority in Floriana, Agius reiterated that "what belongs to the private will remain so".

The Planning Authority is currently receiving feedback as part of the six-week consultation process on the 24 sites being proposed as public domain: 16 of the sites were proposed by Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar, seven sites were proposed by Friends of the Earth and one site - the park at Nwadar - was proposed by Environment Minister Jose Herrera.

Whilst welcomed by many, and found parliamentary support, the law has hunters and trappers concerned. Multiple meetings have been held between the FKNK and the junior minister as the hunting federation seeks to protect its members' rights. FKNK has been urging its members, land owners or not, to send in their objections to the Planning Authority.

With data held by the PA and the Lands Department, the authority is in the process of gathering information on who owns the pieces of lands within the 24 sites. Different records are held by the two entities and the PA is also holding one-to-one meetings with citizens who want to verify whether their land, or the land they work, falls in any of the designated sites.

Planning Authority CEO Johann Buttigieg
Planning Authority CEO Johann Buttigieg
In the case that a land belongs to a third party, and this is missed during the consultation period and the preparatory work, PA CEO Johann Buttigieg said the government would then need to seek the advice of the Attorney General.

Asked whether the PA was considering compensation for individuals with land in the sites, Buttigieg reiterated that the government had no intention of impinging upon anyone's rights.

"Rights will be respected and it will then be up to parliament to decide what it wants to do," he said, adding that if the need arises, there are laws that regulate compensation.

A total of 24 sites are being proposed as public domain sites
A total of 24 sites are being proposed as public domain sites
Miriam Dalli joined in 2010 and was assistant editor fr...
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