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PA seeks 'blanket amnesty' for illegal pre-1994 fireworks factories

Kamra tal-Periti slams 'abuse of legislative power'

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The Planning Authority is pushing to grant illegal firework factories built before 1994 a blanket amnesty, the architects' lobby has warned, calling the proposal "an abuse of legislative power." 

In a draft legal notice issued for public consultation earlier this month, the PA proposed creating a new class of Development Notification Order for existing developments related to "Malta's culture and tradition."

The legal notice would effectively turn pre-1994 fireworks factories into "permitted developments" and allow their owners to convert them to be used for other purposes, even if they fall short of sanitary regulations, rural policies, design policies or any other possible regulatory hurdle.

A public consultation period concerning the legal notice began on April 2 and ends on Monday, April 16. 

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The legal notice would benefit at least two such factoties - one in Kerċem and another in Mellieħa.

The Tal-Boros factory in Kerċem was served with an enforcement notice back in 1999 following the illegal building of three workshops, a toilet and kitchen on the site. The Mellieħa factory was also served with an enforcement notice for illegal buildings in 2009. 

In a statement issued on Monday morning, the Kamra tal-Periti made it clear that it would be opposing the move, and asked why the PA was trying to change the law to legalise such factories, rather than using existing channels for legalisation.

If it came into effect, the lobby group warned, illegal factories would be automatically legalised, without even having to go through a sanctioning process. 

"If this legal notice is approved," the Kamra tal-Periti warned, "these illegal developments will be rendered legal without any public consultation, and without any consultation with the relevant authorities."

 

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