The Office of the Ombudsman has welcomed the decision by the Planning Authority to revoke a permit for a concrete structure intended to house an ATM and ticket booth along the St Julian’s promenade. This decision aligns with a recommendation made by the Commissioner for Environment and Planning over a year ago.
Perit Alan Saliba, the Commissioner for Environment and Planning, investigated a complaint regarding the Planning Authority’s (PA) acceptance of a Development Notification Order for the erection of an ATM and booth in St Julians.
Following this investigation, on 3rd October of last year, the Commissioner for Environment and Planning found the allegations against the Planning Authority – which had approved the development in St Julian’s despite it being three times the size allowed by the Development Notification Order – to be justified.
The Commissioner recommended that the PA invoke Article 80 of the Development Planning Act to revoke the permit in question. This was due to evident errors in the record and the submission of a plan (section) that did not accurately represent the on-site situation. Additionally, the Commissioner advised the PA to take enforcement action against constructions that were either below street level or above the existing floor level without permission.
Despite the clear directive from the Office of the Ombudsman, the Planning Authority did not heed the Final Opinion and failed to implement the recommendations set out by the Commissioner for Environment and Planning. Consequently, the Commissioner informed the Prime Minister, and the report was subsequently forwarded to Parliament in January of this year.
Had the Planning Authority heeded the recommendations from the Office of the Ombudsman promptly, it would have prevented the visual disruption that has been in place for the past year, especially since the recommendation was made prior to the structure’s completion.Media Releases