The Malta Independent 25 August 2019, Sunday

Application to excavate part of Manoel island should be held off till after appeal - FAA

Monday, 15 July 2019, 11:13 Last update: about 2 months ago

On Thursday, the Planning Authority is to take a decision on an application for the excavation of Manoel Island when the outline permit master plan for the overall project is still being contested at appeal, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) has argued.

“FAA is contesting the MIDI master plan on legal, procedural and planning issues as there are strong grounds to consider that the outline development permit is invalid at law. For this reason FAA maintains that it would be both irresponsible and unethical to take a decision on the excavation while the whole project is being appealed. A decision in favour of the excavation permit would reduce the whole appeal process to a travesty.”

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“FAA's serious doubts as to the validity of the outline permit are strengthened by the recent decision on the db Pembroke development by the Court of Appeal, which decreed that Matthew Pace, PA Board member, should have recused himself from that PA vote, given that as the owner of a Remax real estate franchise, he stood to gain from db project. Pace was similarly involved in the approval of the Midi master plan. Under the principles set out by Judge Chetcuti, the involvement of the Gzira Local Council on the Planning Board as well as with MIDI on the Manoel Island Foundation should equally the approved outline permit.”

In the circumstances the Planning Authority should refrain from considering any full development permit related to an outline permit that is being contested, the FAA said. “This Thursday's MIDI application should only be considered after a final decision on the FAA appeal.”

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