The application to widen a road in Żebbuġ, partially demolishing a public garden in the process, had been withdrawn in January 2017, data from the Planning Authority website has revealed.
Controversy initially erupted after independent local councillor Steve Zammit Lupi took direct action after hearing the news that Infrastructure Malta had descended upon the locality to begin demolishing the garden to make way for a road-widening project.
Infrastructure Malta has defended the development, arguing the local council had applied for the development and had originally wanted the street to be widened further.
Mayor Malcolm Paul Galea said that roadworks have been planned for years but decried the lack of communication with the council on plans.
However, the application (PC 00002/16) for the project had actually been withdrawn on 23rd January 2017. The plans were initially submitted by Sarah Agius on behalf of the local council with Charles Buhagiar serving as its architect.
“The demolition of a garden by Infrastructure Malta was done illegally,” Moviment Graffitti said in a post referencing the withdrawn permit, Graffitti also noted that Agius, now Agius Saliba, is now employed within the Infrastructure Ministry.
“This also means that yesterday, before the works started, Frederick Azzopardi went armed with the escort of the RIU police in order to protect himself while he was committing an illegality to the detriment of the residents of Żebbuġ,” they continued.
Still, Infrastructure Malta said that they were able to receive the necessary permits from the Transport Authority, raising further questions whether the road works were actually illegal.
Zammit Lupi, a well-known activist, physically put himself in front of the jiggers to briefly halt the development. He said that it was his civic duty to speak up when certain things are not done well, urging everyone to do the same.
What do you think of this latest development?