PA clamps down on illegal developments in ODZ land

The Planning Authority identified several outside-development zone areas that were being used for illegal dumping and development

The site at Triq id-Deheb Fin, Qormi (Photo: Planning Authority)
The site at Triq id-Deheb Fin, Qormi (Photo: Planning Authority)

The Planning Authority (PA) identified four ODZ sites in Malta which were being used for the illegal dumping of scrapped vehicles, containers, construction waste, storing trucks and boats - all without the necessary permissions. 

The authority said that these have since been removed and the sites have been reinstated to their original use.

These four areas cover Triq il-Wardija, San Pawl il-Baħar; Sqaq Taċ-Ċawla and Triq il-Ġarġir, limits of Rabat (Malta); and a corner site in Triq ix-Xgħajra/Triq Agatha Barbara in Żabbar.

A same exercise was conducted in Gozo, where an agricultural site off Triq Borġ Għarib, in the limits of Għajnsielem, was illegally being used for the parking of commercial vehicles. This area has now been cleared out.

Several rooms and structures were identified, having been built without development permission on arable land. Such rooms were located in Mellieħa, Luqa, Qormi, and Għaxaq in Malta, and Xewkija and Xagħra in Gozo.

These structures were demolished by the respective contraveners, and the sites are being used for agricultural purposes again, according to the PA.

Compliance and enforcement officers went so far as to oblige a contravener, who built a lengthy stretch of rubble wall "in an unconventional manner" along the outskirts of Għajnsielem, to dismantle the wall and reconstruct the ħajt tas-sejjieħ using traditional methods.

During 2020, The Compliance and Enforcement Directorate received 3,313 complaints of illegal development. In over half these cases, the PA concluded that illegal developments were being carried out, compelling the Directorate to dish out 145 enforcement notices resulting from the complaints received.

In 45% of these cases, the contraveners themselves complied or removed the illegalities before further action could be taken.