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Joseph Portelli Was Not Fined For Qala Illegal Excavation Works, PA Confirms

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The Planning Authority has just confirmed that Joseph Portelli was not fined for his illegal excavation works in Qala.

This comes after Portelli admitting that he was wrong to carry out works on an outside development zone site in Qala, saying that he would “gladly pay a fine” over the works.

A few weeks ago, illegal works by Portelli were reported to be taking place in Qala. The PA had then halted the works and issued a warning notice, only for the works to commence just under a week later.

“Until now, no fines have been imposed since the developer complied with the Planning Authority’s orders to stop works on the part where there is no permit,” a PA spokesperson told Lovin Malta. 

The Planning Authority confirmed that the Enforcement Directorate had inspected the site again after reports that works had continued.

 “It can be confirmed that following the issue of the warning notice, no further excavation works have been carried out and the works on the rubble walls are at a standstill,” it clarified.

“The only thing that occurred was that stone to be used for rubble walls has been brought on-site and some large stones have been cut into smaller stones with a pneumatic hammer,” it concluded.

The Planning Authority’s current system in place for fining illegalities allows a 16 day grace period since the commencement of illegal works, where no fines are dished out.

For illegal developments that do not fall either within ODZ, a protected area, an area of archeological importance, or historical remains, one is only fined the measly amount of €2 daily from the 16th day of the notice until 365 days, only to double to €4 euros after 366 days.

Since the developer complied with the PA’s orders, no fines will be dished out for the illegal works.

What do you make of this? 

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's probably fighting for women's rights. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

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