Tattingers’ Site Hotel Permit Revoked As Din L-Art Ħelwa Welcomes Malta’s Court Decision
A 5-star hotel planned to be built on the site of the old Tattingers club in Rabat has had its permit revoked by a court of appeal for not conforming to local plans.
This development permit was controversial from the start as it lies at the feet of the Mdina bastions, one of the the finest examples of an ancient walled city in Europe.
There were several objections for aesthetic but also structural reasons, since the hotel would have required some 1,000 square meters of excavation.
Nonetheless, the Planning Authority had approved the permit in 2021, saying that archaeological and geological studies would have to be carried out before any excavation works on site.
The case was referred to the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal, which had agreed that the permit should be revoked and sent back to the Planning Authority since the application should not have been issued before the studies were carried out – rather than being made conditional on their outcome.
However, Din l-Art Ħelwa, the Archaeological Society of Malta and Moviment Graffitti were not appeased by this decision and went to the Court of Appeal, arguing that the area’s Local Plan allowed extensions to operating hotels under certain conditions, new hotels were not envisaged.
The Court of Appeal has now agreed that since the Local Plan did not allow new hotels, the law must be upheld and the permit was revoked.
Din l-Art Ħelwa welcomed the important decision: “The implications go well beyond the development of Tattingers, as the Court of Appeal has recognised the over-riding importance of the Local Plans, which could now be used as a strong argument for several other cases.”
DLĦ president Alex Torpiano said this is a very important ruling which has wide implications on a number of other applications already in the pipeline and will definitely serve as a deterrent for those still being considered.
It has been encouraging to feel vindicated after all the effort made by the many volunteers.
“In spite of the sterling work done on a pro-bono basis by all our dedicated volunteers, these fights are costly and would not be possible without your ongoing memberships and donations. We urge you to visit our website to join up if you have not already done so.”
DLĦ has filed over 1,500 objections to individual planning applications this year.
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