Major construction developers have submitted bids for a Lands Authority sanctioned lease to take over a pristine piece of land on a Mellieħa cliff-edge for supposed ‘beekeeping’ purposes.
Documents acquired by Lovin Malta shows that Paul Attard, a major shareholder in GAP, one of the country’s biggest developers, along with his wife, Lorraine, are one of two bidders for the site. The other bidder is Dione Bartolo, of DB Properties, and his wife, Tania.
Both could walk away with this untouched stretch of land which has stunning views of Mellieħa, Għadira Bay, and Gozo for less than €17,000 – with both submitting bids below that figure.
GAP is one of the biggest developers in the country and has been behind megaprojects, like Fort Cambridge or a separate block in Mellieha, which actually saw roads altered to make way for its construction.
Many residents and political figures, including minority council leader Ivan Castillo and opposition whip Robert Cutajar, have raised concerns that the lease, which is supposedly for beekeeping, is a smokescreen for money-hungry developers to get their hands on the lucrative piece of land.
It seems that according to the bidders, many of their concerns could prove to be correct.
The minimum bid for the land is €9,000, and both Attard and Bartolo submitted amounts for less than double that figure.
The tender expressly says that the area must be expressly used for bee-keeping. However, residents who reached out to Lovin Malta insisted that the intentions behind the tender “are clearly malicious.”
“The site is a sensitive and delicate cliff edge scheduled site, completely unsuitable for such purpose situated in a residential area,” one resident said.
The Malta Beekeeping Association was not even consulted on the project.
Rather the association actually said that keeping the land in its natural state would benefit honeybees, given the abundance of wild flowers in the area.
A legal letter has been sent to Economy Minister Silvio Schembri and a petition has been signed. However, it remains to be seen whether any action will be taken with GAP Holdings regular donors of the ruling Labour Party.
What do you think of the lease?