MP’s Saqqajja land again earmarked for ODZ villa

The land previously owned by Toni Bezzina and now owned by a property agent is once again earmarked for construction

The proposal is uncannily similar to the previous one, proposing the restoration of “existing habitable structures” and their consolidation as a single dwelling accompanied with a pool and gate
The proposal is uncannily similar to the previous one, proposing the restoration of “existing habitable structures” and their consolidation as a single dwelling accompanied with a pool and gate

The land formerly owned by Nationalist MP Toni Bezzina in Rabat is once again earmarked for construction, after the property was sold on to a property agent.

The new owner is now trying his luck with planning policies permitting the reconstruction of former countryside dwellings as villas outside development zones, at a short distance from Saqqaja Hill.

Bezzina had been forced to withdraw a planning application in February 2017 filed by his wife for a three-bedroom dwelling, swimming pool, garages and driveway disguised as a “restoration of derelict World War II structures”, after being outed by Labour party organ Kullħadd.
Since then the property, which includes an almond grove, has changed ownership and a new application has been presented by Angelo D’Arrigo, a Remax property agent who declared full ownership of the site.

Nationalist MP Toni Bezzina
Nationalist MP Toni Bezzina

The proposal is uncannily similar to the previous one, proposing the restoration of “existing habitable structures” and their consolidation as a single dwelling accompanied with a pool and gate.

The Environment and Resources Authority has warned that the development proposed will result in a substantial increase in the structure’s footprint and deemed the development incompatible with the site’s designation as an Area of High Landscape Value.

Various objectors have pointed out that the dilapidated structures used as an excuse for the new development, consist of a few walls of rooms previously used by the British military.

The Rural Development Guidelines issued in 2014 include a clause which specifically allows the “rehabilitation and change of use of architectural historical or vernacular interest” allowing their transformation into dwellings. This explained why Bezzina had described the roofless structures as “WWII living quarters.” Another policy permits the demolition of rural structures which lack historical value and their transformation into dwellings, if proof of previous residence is submitted. This may explain why the structures are now referred to as “habitable structures”.

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