Planning Authority in illegal developments clamp down

Planning Authority removes illegal developments across Malta and Gozo, some dating back to the 1980s

Before and after photos showing some of the disused cars in Wied Għajn Riħana, Mosta (right), and illegal strucutures in Xlendi (left) removed by the Planning Authority
Before and after photos showing some of the disused cars in Wied Għajn Riħana, Mosta (right), and illegal strucutures in Xlendi (left) removed by the Planning Authority

The Planning Authority has over the past weeks engaged in a clamp down against illegally built structures across Malta and Gozo.

A number of structures which were built without planning permission, some dating as far back as the 1980s, were removed after PA compliance and enforcement officers warned contravenors of imminent direct action, the Authority said on Tuesday.

A rural structure measuring over 120 sq.m and built in the early 1980s, in close proximity to the Ħagar Qim Temples, limits of Qrendi, was demolished and the site returned back to its original state. the PA said. 

The structure, which had been built without any permits in a pristine area along Triq il-Kbir, had been served with an enforcement notice in 1999. 

On agricultural land in a site off Triq tal-Għarix, limits of Qrendi, a number of other rooms which recently were constructed without planning permission were demolished and the site was reinstated to its previous use.    

In Xlendi, Gozo, a canopy structure constructed without planning permission outside a restaurant across the waterfront was removed after a planning application to sanction the illegality and an appeal against the enforcement notice were withdrawn. 

A daily fine was imposed following the issuing of the enforcement notice. The canopy included illegal signage and the placing of tables and chairs which were also removed.

A number of disused cars and other heavy machinery and vehicles which were left abandoned in a site within Wied il-Ghasel, limits of Mosta, were removed. The site is part of an area, with more than 1.5km in length, where the Planning Authority had given planning permission for a rehabilitation and upgrading project to be carried out in 2017. 

The area starts off from Wied Għajn Riħana near the Victoria Lines, between Mosta and Bidnija, and extends to the proximity of the Grade 1 Scheduled Chapel, dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, right down in the valley beyond the quarries. 

Last year, to tackle the pending caseload of enforcement notices, the Authority embarked on a strategic approach regarding the old cases, the PA highlighted. 

"This yielded the desired results since the number of pending enforcement notices was reduced by 61% when compared to the reduction in the number of cases of the previous year," the Authority said.

The PA added that, in the coming weeks, its Compliance and Enforcement Directorate would keep working to monitor that all ongoing development works were being carried out according to approved drawing and conditions of permission and to continue to address old cases where illegal development was carried out and is still not regularised or removed.