The Malta Independent 12 November 2019, Tuesday

117 days and still no justice: Resident whose home was destroyed provides advice to others

Giulia Magri Sunday, 13 October 2019, 09:30 Last update: about 29 days ago

Janet Walker, one of the residents whose block in Pieta collapsed due to a construction site last June, has posted a few words of advice for people who feel their home is at risk of destruction.

On 13 June, a wall of an apartment block collapsed in Mimosa Street, Pieta and a mere month earlier Walker had posted a video on Facebook of her warning builders of the construction site that the construction work was shaking the building. The large hole in the wall exposed the inside of the residence, kitchen and sitting room.

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Speaking to The Malta Independent on Sunday Walker said that many people are concerned about their property and are scared that the same thing would happen to them. “I am no architect, I am not a member of the Building Regulations Office (BRO), not part of the Planning Authority and definitely not a developer. People are terrified and I just give them information on what they should do. Many people are suffering in silence.”

117 days after the accident, Walker posted on Facebook some advice to others who might be facing the same risks.

“Today is the 117th day since our home collapsed and so far no justice has been served to us. We started this path in spring, summer has passed and we’re now in autumn. How long must we keep waiting? If you think you will be affected too, listen to me and make sure you have nothing missing.” She continued that people should request all the necessary information from developers and architects. She said that one should get a copy of the approved plans by the Planning Authority, their insurance, the commencement notice, the condition report, the method statement and a copy of the bank guarantee of the BRO.

She continued that people should send every complaint they have and if they see any damages to their property to report to the BRO, developers and architects of the construction site. “Ideally you send your complaints in writing because a man’s word doesn’t mean much nowadays.”

She ends her statement by saying that people should find their own architect as of now, speak to lawyers and to remember law article 439 which states: “It shall not be lawful for any person to dig in his own tenement any well, cistern or sink, or to make any other excavation for any purpose whatsoever at a distance of less than 76 centimetres from the party wall.”

 

Suffering fibromyalgia surrounded by demolition and construction

A few days after Walker posted her advice on Facebook, a person posted on her wall regarding her situation. “In 2/3 months’ time I will be surrounded by demolition and construction, no p/a was ever put outside. I suffer from fibromyalgia and depression and cannot take this.”

This year saw a long list of major construction accidents, where apart from Walker’s apartment, two other apartments in Pieta and Mellieha had also collapsed, all in a span of a couple of months. These accidents had shaken the country and pushed government to take action, forwarding a legal notice to regulate the construction industry.

 



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