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‘United Against PA’s Servility To Joseph Portelli’: Appeal Filed Against ODZ Pool In Marsalforn

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Five organisations and the Xagħra Local Council have just filed an appeal with the Planning Tribunal against the approval of Joseph Portelli’s pool in ODZ land in the valley of Marsalforn.

The appeal against this “monstrous development” was filed by Moviment Graffitti, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Għawdix, Wirt Għawdex, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA) and the Xagħra Local Council.

The appeal was brought to reality following a successful crowdfunding campaign that saw the necessary funds to institute legal actions collected in a matter of days. 

“In a shameful spectacle of servility to big business, the Planning Commission Chairperson, Martin Camilleri, bent over backwards to please Portelli, green-lighting the application notwithstanding the case officer’s recommendation for refusal,” the organisations said in a joint press statement.

“In addition to being in ODZ, Portelli’s proposed swimming pool is also, literally, inside a valley, and forms part of the massive apartment block project at the edge of the same valley.”

“The approval of a swimming pool in a valley sets a dangerous precedent for subsequent approvals of similar projects, opening the flood gates to the destruction of our valleys and facilitating the continued rapid destruction of Gozo,” they explained. 

The organisations stressed how Camilleri’s approval was in clear breach of several laws as well as planning policies, which often get thrown to the side and ignored.

“The organisations’ appeal outlines the numerous regulations that categorically prohibit the approved ODZ development, such as the Gozo Local Plan provision which disallows development on the ridge edge; the site being within the 50-meter buffer zone from an Urban Conservation Area (UCA); and the formalisation and parcelling of ODZ land, among others.”

“As can be seen from the repeated success of crowdfunding campaigns, the people of Malta and Gozo are outraged at the destruction of our urban and natural environment for the benefit of the wealthy few.”

Another crowdfunding campaign earlier this year led to an appeal being filed by Moviment Graffitti against the third application connected to Portelli’s monstrous development in Sannat.

“In the face of this assault on our environment and quality of life, we are determined to continue fighting against the defacing of Gozo and Malta at the hands of developers like Joseph Portelli and rotten entities like the Planning Authority,” they promised.

What do you make of this latest update? 

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Sasha is interested in investigating environmental matters, humans and art. Some know her as Sasha tas-Sigar. Inspired by nature and the changing world. Follow her on Instagram at @saaxhaa and send her your stories at [email protected]

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