Eleven organisations are calling for the removal of the Planning Commission Chairperson, Simon Saliba, due to alleged obstruction of the right to a fair planning process.
Only last week, the Planning Commission came under fire for allegedly muting an activist’s microphone during an intervention against the building of apartments on a site of archaeological importance in Kalkara.
“Mr Simon Saliba has consistently shown disrespect for residents and other objectors during sittings held at the Planning Authority,” local NGO Moviment Graffitti said. “He has often openly and aggressively sided with the developers instead of fulfilling his role as an impartial arbitrator.”
Moviment Graffitti made reference to the hearing of the Balluta ferry pontoon application, wherein Saliba’s decision to refuse the permit was allegedly changed to an approval during a following session, wherein he appeared to be acting as lawyer for the developers.
The NGO said that according to the Cultural Heritage Act, the public and NGOs not only have the right, but also the duty to safeguard cultural heritage.
“Mr Saliba’s arrogant attitude and outdated mindset, together with his consistent defence of developers’ interests rather than the public good, contrasts starkly with the fresh start promised by Minister Aaron Farrugia,” Moviment Graffitti concluded.
The eleven NGOs calling for Saliba’s removal are as follows:
- Bicycle Advocacy Group
- BirdLife Malta
- Din l-Art Ħelwa
- Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar
- Friends of the Earth Malta
- GreenHouse Malta
- Malta Youth in Agriculture (MaYA)
- Moviment Graffitti
- Nature Trust Malta
- Ramblers Association of Malta
- The Archaeological Society of Malta