The Malta Independent 20 October 2019, Sunday

Enforcement action being carried out by Planning Authority at White Rocks

Albert Galea Monday, 19 August 2019, 09:23 Last update: about 3 months ago

Enforcement action is currently being carried out by the Planning Authority at the White Rocks Complex with illegally dumped waste being cleared from the site.

The presence of a bulldozer on the site was brought to the attention of this newsroom, and further investigation noted that what seemed to be construction waste was being dug up and separated on site, with rubble being piled separately from fine soil.

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A spokesperson for the Planning Authority told The Malta Independent that the site is currently subject to an enforcement notice which addresses the derelict buildings and unauthorised deposition of material.

The works being carried out pertain to the remedial works as part of this enforcement notice to remove the said material, while the material is being sieved on site to facilitate transport logistics, the spokesperson said.

The White Rocks site in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq covers an area of 450,000 square metres, which includes the complex built by the British Forces in the 1960s.

Development of the site was initially attempted back in 1999 by a Nationalist government but failed to gain any momentum and was put on hold. In 2010, there was an attempt to develop the site as a sports village but, again, this did not gain enough interest.

The land is also scheduled as a Natura 2000 site, and any area of archaeological and/or historical value must be given priority in terms of conservation, with high-quality landscaping necessary as part of any proposal.

The latest effort to develop the site started back in 2014 when Economy Minister Chris Cardona re-launched the project, but by 2017 the project had stalled after a disagreement on the value of the land between the government and the White Rocks Development Consortium.

It was later considered as a possible new home for the Institute of Tourism Studies, but this idea also fell by the wayside. In January this year, Cardona told Parliament that negotiations were in an “advanced stage”, however The Malta Independent revealed in February that the government’s estimated the value of the site in stood at around €120 million, which is almost five times what the White Rocks Development Consortium was offering.

No news on the potential development has been heard since.

The White Rocks Development Consortium consists of London & Regional Holdings, which includes Livingstone Brothers (Richard and Ian Livingstone), with group net value assets of €5 billion; the Alpine Group, with Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association president Tony Zahra being one of its directors; Bonnici Brothers, a construction company owned by Emanuel Bonnici, John Bonnici and Mario Bonnici; Mizzi Holdings Ltd, owned by Maurice Mizzi, Brian Mizzi and Kenneth Mizzi; Michael Bianchi, who is an investor in various companies and is one of the directors of Airport Investment Ltd; Sea Estate Ltd, whose sole director is Joseph Eucharist Vella of Karkanja Ltd; Elma Ltd, whose directors are Dennis Baldacchino, who owns Tal-Magħtab Construction Ltd, and Charles Ellul, director of Elbros Construction Ltd.

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