[WATCH] Ian Borg denies any involvement in Qala permit renunciation

Infrastructure Minister says he had nothing to do with Johann Buttigieg’s decision to resign as Planning Authority Executive Chairman 

Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg
Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg
Ian Borg denies any involvement in Qala permit renunciation

Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg has denied any involvement in the withdrawal of approved plans for the proposed development on the pristine Qala coast, after the project plans were retracted by Gozitan developer, Joseph Portelli. 

On Thursday, the Planning Authority approved a controversial permit which green-lighted the application for a 31 square-metre countryside ruin to be transformed into a private villa and a swimming pool, ostensibly an extension of the footprint from 31sq.m to 114sq.m. 

On Saturday, company J Portelli Projects announced the voluntary renunciation “with immediate effect”, but insisted that the application had been singled out by the PA and the media “for some odd reason”. 

Asked if he had any say on the withdrawal, Borg denied any connection. “The answer is no and no,” Borg said. 

On the 25 October, it was announced that Planning Authority Executive Chairman Johann Buttigieg would be stepping down from his role as Executive Chairman on the PA, with a spokesperson stating that he would be occupying another post with a public entity. 

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Here too, Borg denied any involvement with Buttigieg’s resignation, stating that the PA boss is still carrying out his duties with the authority to this day. 

“When someone resigns, he writes a resignation letter and presents it. He has not yet presented this letter, and when he does I will accept it in order for him to move to another authority,” Borg said. 

When asked to describe his relationship with Buttigieg, Borg said that it is the same as with any other authority CEO. 

“There are days when you agree with everything, and that worries you, and there are days when you don’t agree on anything,” Borg said. 

He added that a rural policy reform was presented to the PA around a year and a half ago, but that he had received no word from them. 

“I haven’t received anything yet, and around a month ago I wrote to them again. Now I hope that whoever is in charge will present to me a good draft which improves on the irregularities which one might find, while keeping what has functioned properly,” Borg said.