The Malta Independent 16 July 2019, Tuesday

PA approves originally controversial application near AFM football ground

Thursday, 13 September 2018, 10:24 Last update: about 11 months ago

The Planning Authority Board has approved an application which originally saw controversy, to turn a building connected to the AFM football ground in Kirkop into a clubhouse.

Back in August, the Armed Forces of Malta had backed down after strongly objecting to a planning application, withdrawing it just days prior to a PA board meeting.

The application, according to the Planning Authority website "is to change the use from a multipurpose hall to the clubhouse at the roof floor level. The proposal also includes the change in materials of an external window from timber to aluminium timber-like apertures." The site is the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) Football Ground, located at Triq 29 ta Mejju 1592 at Triq Taz-Zebbiegh in Kirkop."


According to a letter which had previously been presented to the Planning Authority the AFM was originally against the proposal. Originally the request was to be heard before the planning commission, however, the AFM asked for it to be heard by the PA Board due to the precedent an approval decision could create.

The AFM had said that it had given temporary permission to Kirkop United F.C. so that, at specific times when the AFM would not be using the football ground, the children of the locality will be able to practice the sport and use the adjacent dressing room facilities.  The letter read that a certain Joe Farrugia (It is unclear whether this is the same Joe Farrugia who is the chairman of the Kirkop United FC club), with whom the AFM has no juridical relationship and who has no juridical interest or title on the property – according to the letter - presented an application to form a clubhouse on this property "that remains a military base and also happens to serve as a detention centre facility for irregular migrants.”

At the time, the AFM said that it “strongly objects to the presence of a clubhouse on the property which it has possession of and title to,”  In the August sitting, Lawyer and PL Whip Byron Camilleri, who appeared also with PN MP and architect Toni Bezzina said that discussions were held and informed the authority that a letter from the AFM to the CEO of the Lands Authority on 27 July informed that there was no more objection for that part of the building be used as a clubhouse.

The PA Board took a preliminary vote in August indicating its intention to overturn the Planning Directorate’s refuse recommendation, and to approve the clubhouse. A final vote was taken today and since the reasons for refusal by the Planning Directorate were addressed, the application was approved.

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