Council agrees to appeal controversial permit for 8-storey block
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Council agrees to appeal controversial permit for 8-storey block

Mellieħa project got development permit recently

The location of the planned development.

The location of the planned development.

The Mellieħa local council has unanimously agreed to appeal against a development permit issued recently for the construction of an eight-storey block comprising a hotel and residential apartments.

The decision was taken at a council meeting last week during which a motion originally submitted by Nationalist Party councillors was approved, following an amendment filed by Mellieħa mayor John Buttigieg.

The original motion requested the government to “return” the plot of land earmarked for this development for the construction of a community centre.

Such demand was made in the wake of the fact that the site, measuring 3,600 square metres, was in the council’s hands through an encroachment agreement which the government terminated in 2015. Subsequently, the plot was put on sale through an auction.

Though no details were given on the amendment presented by the Mellieħa mayor, a council statement issued following the meeting noted that the encroachment had been given on condition that the land had to be used as a park-and-ride facility only and not for the construction of a community centre.

As for the merits of the appeal, the council said that partial review of subsidiary plans approved in January 2013 should not prevail over the 2006 local plan.

The development by J. Portelli Projects, which is at the heart of the controversy, was originally re-commended for refusal as it was in breach of the height limitation policy for the area. However, the Planning Authority board controversially overruled the case officer’s recommendation on the basis of a separate policy that allowed a degree of flexibility when deciding such applications.

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