Resolved Issue: The Office of the Ombudsman investigates missing site notice for Qala project

The Commissioner for Environment and Planning takes action on residents’ concerns

The Office of the Ombudsman investigated a matter of public concern by residents of Qala as reported by The Times of Malta on the 29th of August 2023 in an article titled ‘Residents report missing site notice at Qala project’. A site notice for a new construction project, specifically application PA/04643/23, reportedly went missing during its representation period. The application involves the construction of nine farmhouses with garages and swimming pools in an alley on Triq il-Wardija.

The issue

Residents noticed that the site notice, which provides information on the planned construction project, was missing during its active representation period. This period allows the public to express concerns or approvals about new projects and is crucial for transparency and public participation. The representation period for this specific application is currently active and will remain open until September 18, 2023.

Action taken

Following the report, Perit Alan Saliba, the Commissioner for Environment and Planning in the Office of the Ombudsman, took immediate action by communicating with the Planning Authority.

Planning Authority’s response

The Planning Authority has informed the Commissioner that they have issued a letter to the applicant. The letter directs the applicant to promptly place a site notice in a location visible from the public road. It also emphasises that photographic evidence should be kept to prove compliance with this legal requirement. The Planning Authority made it clear that failure to comply could result in the re-publication of the application, subsequently extending the legislative processing time-frame by six weeks.

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