One of the most famous swimming pools in Malta is a step closer to existing.
Plans for Transport Minister Ian Borg’s pool are moving ahead after the Planning Directorate recommended his application for approval. The plans would see Borg build a pool area near his Rabat home, which lies in the rural zone of Santa Katerina.
Borg’s pool and home plans have continuously stoked controversy since 2013 after he obtained permission to turn a broken-down building in an ODZ field into his home.
While he had obtained permission in 2018 to build the pool, the plans were overturned on appeal. Borg has now been given the green light following a new, smaller application that does not take up any fresh land and is sited on “disturbed land”, the directorate said.
The 40-square metre, diamond-shaped pool will be built into an agricultural reservoir.
Leading environmentalists and eNGOs including Din L-Art Ħelwa have warned that allowing the reservoir to be turned into a private swimming pool might set a negative precedent where people could begin to urbanise ODZ and rural areas.
Borg’s newer proposal saw him removing key features like an outdoor dining area and even things like showers and bathroom. It also includes provisions for the reinstatement of soil levels and the additional planting of 10 different tree and plant species in the pool area, the Times of Malta reported.
The Planning Authority will now discuss the request for permit on June 12th.