The Malta Independent 12 May 2021, Wednesday

PA orders destruction of ‘Top of the World’ stone garden

Thursday, 29 April 2021, 11:49 Last update: about 12 days ago

The Planning Authority has ordered a stone garden in an area known as ‘Top of the World’ in Gharghur to be destroyed, stating that the development is illegal.

The man who made it his daily vocation to take care of the area – which was previously effectively a dump – was threatened with a 50,000 fine if he does not destroy his creation immediately.

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The man, Ronnie Gauci, was forced to smash up the stone structures and uproot the flowers and plants that he had tended to for years.

Gauci was slapped with a warning from the PA last month about "structures without permits", demanding that the "illegal development" be halted.

The situation has prompted widespread fury from members of the public over the fact that the planning authority has decided to take action against a seemingly innocuous garden and yet continues to allow the country to be raped by illegal development which is later sanctioned as if nothing had happened.

One social media post which was shared by over 500 people on Thursday lamented how the PA had ordered Gauci to demolish his work because “he used soil instead of concrete, because he is a common man not a contractor, because he put the interest of the community before his, because he put his money into Gharghur’s Top of the World instead of a secret offshore account”.

The PA, the post reads, had a found a “sacrificial lamb.”

Over 100 commenters shared their disbelief at the news, with one person saying that the PA should be “embarrassed” and another saying that this country had truly “sold its soul to the devil.”

Others lamented at how the PA had failed to force the destruction of other illegal developments – with an illegal zoo, the Montekristo estates, and the villages of caravans and boathouses that adorn part of the Maltese coastline all being cited as such examples.

Another noted how the government roads agency Infrastructure Malta could carry out projects without permits and yet because this man has carried out a small project to be enjoyed by the public, he ended up as a “victim of the authorities.”

Żona li kienet miżbla 11-il sena ilu nbidlet f'niċċa u fjuri miżrugħin minn Ronnie, anzjan fil-lokalità tagħna li minn...

Posted by Ruben Overend on Wednesday, April 28, 2021
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