Planning Authority and Portelli threaten Sannat

Joint Press Statement 28.02.2022

An application (PA/02087/21) which will add 73 apartments to create a monstrous 125-unit complex in Sannat will be heard for the second time by the Planning Commission on 1 March at noon, following the peculiar and unjustified decision to request review of the application by the Executive Council. Twelve organisations are raising serious concerns about the totally irregular processing of this application.

The case officer had recommended this application for refusal, highlighting that this development will exceed height and massing regulations, counters planning policies, and fails to comply with sanitary regulations.

The Planning Commission was duty-bound to refuse such an application in the absence of a good reason for accepting it. However, rather than rejecting it, a new stratagem was used – the Planning Commission requested review by the Executive Council, another PA body led by Executive Chairperson Martin Saliba, which should have nothing to do with the review of such applications.

This is also the third application in a series of invasive tactics by Portelli and his business partners which would create an enormous block dominating Sannat. Splitting one development into different applications, under different names, to evade scrutiny and Environmental Impact Assessments, is a tried-and-tested tactic which has already wreaked havoc in other Gozitan villages like Qala.

To add insult to injury, this third application was entirely based on the presumption that the previous two would be approved before it, changing the conditions of the site to one that is no longer “facing ODZ”.

Illegal works are also being carried out adjacent to this project’s footprint, reaching the Ta’ Ċenċ cliff edge – a forewarning of another approaching application which might block public access to the beautiful cliffs. Portelli’s enormous development has ‘private landscaped gardens’ advertised with the complex.

It is clear that the PA boards are providing red-carpet treatment for Portelli. This Tuesday, yet another application connected to the same development will be heard by the PA, for the adjustment to an application for 22 apartments on the same site.

The case of Portelli’s development in Sannat shows that the deceitful plans which developers devise to generate profit, at the expense of our beloved towns and villages, are becoming ever-more elaborate and shameless. Furthermore, the PA itself continuously allows developers to walk all over its own policies, literally becoming a completely dysfunctional institution.

These noxious projects and the underhanded schemes being used by developers and the PA have to stop. Gozo’s gorgeous cliffs and Sannat’s quaint character should be left in peace, not stolen by developers whose sole purpose is to commercialise our land for their profits.

Organisations:

  • BirdLife Malta
  • Din l-Art Ħelwa
  • Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex
  • Extinction Rebellion Malta
  • Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar
  • Friends of the Earth Malta
  • Għawdix
  • Moviment Graffitti
  • Nature Trust Malta
  • Rota
  • The Archaeological Society Malta
  • Wirt Għawdex 

L-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar u Portelli theddida għas-Sannat

Stqarrija Stampa Konġunta 28.02.2022

Applikazzjoni (PA/02087/21) li se żżid 73 appartament biex toħloq kumpless ta’ 125 post, se tinstema’ għat-tieni darba mill-Kummissjoni tal-Ippjanar fl-1 ta’ Marzu f’nofsinhar, wara deċiżjoni stramba u bla ġustifikazzjoni li tintalab reviżjoni tal-applikazzjoni mill-Kunsill Eżekuttiv. Tnax-il għaqda qed iqajjmu tħassib serju dwar l-ipproċessar totalment irregolari ta’ din l-applikazzjoni.

L-uffiċjal tal-każ kien irrakkomanda li din l-applikazzjoni tiġi miċħuda, bl-argument li dan l-iżvilupp se jeċċedi r-regolamenti tal-għoli u l-kobor, li jmur kontra l-policies tal-ippjanar, u li ma jimxix mar-regolamenti tas-sanità.

Il-Kummissjoni tal-Ippjanar kienet fid-dmir li tirrifjuta din l-applikazzjoni fin-nuqqas ta’ raġuni valida biex taċċettaha. Madanakollu, minflok ma rrifjutatha, intużat strateġija ġdida – il- Kummissjoni tal-Ippjanar talbet reviżjoni mill-Kunsill Eżekuttiv, entità oħra tal-PA immexxija miċ-Chairperson Eżekuttiv Martin Saliba, li m’għandu jkollha x’taqsam xejn mar-reviżjoni ta’ applikazzjonijiet bħal dawn.

Din hija wkoll it-tielet applikazzjoni f’sensiela ta’ tattiċi invażivi minn Portelli u s-sħab tiegħu fin-negozju li se toħloq blokka enormi li se tiddomina lis-Sannat. Il-qsim ta’ żvilupp wieħed, f’applikazzjonijiet differenti, taħt ismijiet differenti, biex jiġu evitati l-iskrutinju u l-Assessjar tal-Impatt Ambjentali, hija tattika li ġiet użata qabel u li ġa kkaġunat ħafna ħsara f’villaġġi Għawdxin oħrajn bħall-Qala.

Biex tgħaxxaqha, din it-tielet applikazzjoni kienet ibbażata kompletament fuq il-preżunzjoni li t-tnejn ta’ qabel jiġu approvati qabilha, bil-konsegwenza li l-kundizzjonijiet tas-sit inbidlu f’wieħed li m’għadux jagħti fuq art ODZ.

Qegħdin isiru wkoll xogħolijiet illegali biswit dan il-proġett, li jwasslu għax-xifer tal-irdumijiet ta’ Ta’ Ċenċ – twissija minn qabel ta’ proġett ieħor li qiegħed jinħema u li jaf jagħlaq l-aċċess pubbliku għal dawn l-irdumijiet tant sbieħ. L-iżvilupp enormi ta’ Portelli jinkludi ġonna privati ddisinjati li qegħdin jiġu reklamati bħala parti mill-kumpless.

Huwa ċar li l-bordijiet tal-PA qed jagħtu lil Portelli trattament speċjali. Nhar it-Tlieta, applikazzjoni oħra marbuta ma’ dan l-istess żvilupp se tinstema’ mill-PA, biex isiru xi aġġustamenti għal applikazzjoni għal 22 appartament fuq l-istess sit.

Il-każ tal-iżvilupp ta’ Portelli fis-Sannat juri li l-pjanijiet qarrieqa li l-iżviluppaturi qegħdin ifasslu biex jagħmlu iktar profitt, a skapitu tal-ibliet u l-irħula sbieħ tagħna, qegħdin isiru iktar eleborati u bla mistħija. Barra min hekk, l-PA stess il-ħin kollu tħalli żviluppaturi jiksru l-policies tagħha stess, u b’hekk saret istituzzjoni li assolutament ma tiffunzjonax.

Dawn il-proġetti ta’ ħsara u l-iskemi diżonesti li qegħdin jintużaw mill-iżviluppaturi u mill-PA iridu jieqfu. L-irdumijiet tant sbieħ Għawdxin u l-villaġġ pittoresk tas-Sannat għandhom jitħallew fil-paċi, mhux jiġu misruqa mill-iżviluppaturi li l-għan ewlieni tagħhom huwa li jikkummerċjalizzaw artna għall-profitti tagħhom.

Għaqdiet:

  • BirdLife Malta
  • Din l-Art Ħelwa
  • Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex
  • Extinction Rebellion Malta
  • Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar
  • Friends of the Earth Malta
  • Għawdix
  • Moviment Graffitti
  • Nature Trust Malta
  • Rota
  • The Archaeological Society Malta
  • Wirt Għawdex