NGOs want planning commission chair removed after censuring objector

11 organisations are calling for the removal of Simon Saliba from chairperson of the Planning Commission after censorship incident involving objector

NGOs are calling for the removal of Simon Saliba, who chairs one of the planning commissions
NGOs are calling for the removal of Simon Saliba, who chairs one of the planning commissions

The chair of one of the planning commissions is facing calls for his removal from 11 organisations after a censorship incident involving an objector.

The organisations have accused architect Simon Saliba of obstructing the right to a fair planning process.

The groups said that last Friday, Saliba cut off the microphone of an activist, interrupting her from finishing her intervention against the building of apartments in a site of archaeological importance in Kalkara.

But the NGOs insisted this was not the first time, Saliba had acted in a biased way during sittings.

They said that in his very first big hearing related to the Balluta ferry pontoon application, he acted as the developers’ voice. 

Saliba was accused of openly making it clear he has little respect for NGOs or the public. He had also once asked a resident who was objecting to be ushered out of the premises, the NGOs said.

“Simon Saliba has consistently shown disrespect for residents and other objectors during sittings held at the Planning Authority and has often, openly and aggressively, sided with the developers instead of fulfilling his role as an impartial judge,” the NGOs said.

The statement was signed by: Bicycle Advocacy Group, BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, GreenHouse Malta, Malta Youth in Agriculture (MaYA), Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust Malta, Ramblers Association of Malta and the Archaeological Society of Malta.

More in National