[WATCH] Authorities to step up construction site enforcement

Fines and stop notices for developers who fail to abide by construction site rules as government plans to step up enforcement • First inspections to start in Gżira, Sliema and St Julians on Saturday

The construction boom has left many residents fuming as some developers ignore building site rules
The construction boom has left many residents fuming as some developers ignore building site rules
The authorities are stepping up enforcement on building sites

Developers have been put on notice as the authorities pledge to clamp down on construction site abuse that is inconveniencing residents.

The Planning Authority will provide enforcement officers to help boost the inspectors from the Building Regulations Office, in a bid to have all construction sites around Malta and Gozo, inspected in the next two months.

As from next Saturday, six teams of inspectors will start visiting construction sites in Gżira, Sliema and St Julians, taking note of irregularities.

PA CEO Johann Buttigieg said developers will be given 15 days’ chance to regularise themselves. If a second inspection confirms that the illegalities are not fixed, the developer will be fined and a stop notice issued.

Next in line will be the localities of Msida and St Paul’s Bay, with the six inspection teams gradually fanning out to the rest of the country.

Inspectors will be working also on weekends.

"We are passing through a construction boom but this has to happen with respect to the neighbourhoods where development is happening," Buttigieg said.

Approved building permits

  • Msida 554
  • Gżira 558
  • Sliema 1,036
  • St Julians 738

Joint effort: (From left) The MDA's Sandro Chetcuti, PA CEO Johann Buttigieg, parliamentary secretaries Silvio Parnis and Chris Agius, Gżira mayor Conrad Borg Manche, Msida mayor Margaret Baldacchino and Sliema mayor Anthony Chricop
Joint effort: (From left) The MDA's Sandro Chetcuti, PA CEO Johann Buttigieg, parliamentary secretaries Silvio Parnis and Chris Agius, Gżira mayor Conrad Borg Manche, Msida mayor Margaret Baldacchino and Sliema mayor Anthony Chricop

Plans for greater enforcement of building site regulations were announced on Wednesday morning by parliamentary secretaries Chris Agius and Silvio Parnis, 24 hours after the Gżira local council organised a protest calling on developers to respect residents.

The protest was called after Gżira Nationalist Party councillor Jeremy Cardona was almost run over by a contractor, who drove onto him as he crossed the road. The incident sparked outrage.

Gżira mayor Conrad Borg Manche on Tuesday said his council will continue its fight to ensure developers respects residents as he called on Malta Developers Association president Sandro Chetcuti to reign in the cowboys.

On Wednesday, Borg Manche and Chetcuti were present for the press conference held on the Gżira promenade. The mayors of Sliema and Msida – Anthony Chircop and Maragret Baldacchino – were also present.

Chetcuti unreservedly condemned “all incidents”, when asked about the Cardona incident, while Parnis, who is responsible for local government, expressed solidarity with the councillor, who “was attacked for performing his duties”.

Agius said progress should not be shackled but insisted that development should happen within the rules and in full respect of residents.

The parliamentary secretary said over the summer months there will be an effort not to grant exemptions for demolition and excavation works in tourist areas. The law bans demolition and excavation in certain tourist areas but over the years, exemptions have been given that rendered the rules ineffectual.

MDA’s Chetcuti said his organisation was willing to cooperate and announced that an agreement had been reached with a private company to offer its members free consultation services on the use of advanced technology in construction to reduce the inconvenience to neighbours.

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