The Malta Independent 20 July 2018, Friday

Updated: PD MPs request Auditor General to investigate ‘irregular’ granting of land in Mellieha

Tuesday, 17 April 2018, 08:55 Last update: about 4 months ago

The two Partit Demokratiku MPs, Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia, have called on the Auditor General to investigate what they describe as the “irregular granting of strategic public land to private interests” in Mellieha.

In their letter, which was copied to the media, the PD MPs “request an investigation into how Transport Malta granted public land that is part of an arterial road on the Mellieha bypass to accommodate the interests of third parties. This occurred as part of the process of an application with the Planning Authority.”

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The Ministry concerned failed to object to this manoeuvre during the application process when has every right to do so, the MPs said. It also appears that the Land Authority has not been consulted.

“We note that such a transfer of public land was done without a parliamentary resolution or a public call and so goes against the law, considering that the transfer of public land is being achieved to serve this development,” the two MPs wrote.

“Furthermore, we note that this is being done as a pretext for the upgrading of the arterial road. Naturally, this requires the necessary space to make four lanes, pavements and bicycle lanes and thus has taken additional public land, possibly classified as Natura 2000, in order to protect the health and safety of all road users.”

In reply, Transport Malta said it welcomed the Democratic Party's query as it gives the authority an opportunity to explain its role in such cases.

It is being made clear that at no point was any public land given to the developers as erroneously alleged. The developers are forming a  public road that will remain for the use of the public.   

The bypass was to be realigned, following an exercise by the Planning Authority back in 2016, in virtue of which the bypass was rendered of the same width throughout, thus improving road safety, TMI said.  

The bypass will remain with four lanes, as has been repeatedly stated and no additional land, whether Natura 2000 or otherwise, will be taken up, as PD has incorrectly alleged.

 

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