Nationalist MP Robert Cutajar has called for Planning Authority Martin Saliba to shoulder responsibility after an Ombudsman investigation found that the Planning Authority had breached the law.
Cutajar has filed a complaint with the Ombudsman after a Marsa footbridge was built without a permit having been approved for it, on the basis that it constituted emergency works.
In a report over the summer, the ombudsman noted that the justification for the project being implemented in the way it was, went against the spirit of the law.
The Ombudsman recommended that adequate procedures should be implemented to regulate these types of emergency works by the government.
The Planning Authority had told the Ombudsman that it had a different interpretation of the law cited.
In his reply to a parliamentary question submitted by Cutajar asking what action would be taken following the Ombudsman’s report, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia, who is politically responsible for the authority, also noted the lack of agreement on the interpretation of the law.
“On the cases in question, there was a divergence of legal interpretation of the provisions of the law and in this case, there is no scope for any action to be taken against the authority’s leadership which I have full faith in,” Farrugia said.
“In the meantime, I have given instructions to the authority for it to ensure that development carried out on the pretense of an emergency is really an emergency and for work to only address any specific danger.”
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Cutajar insisted that it was unacceptable for the Planning Authority to ignore a recommendation by the Ombudsman.
He added that this was the second time such a recommendation had been ignored, the first coming after similar “emergency works” were carried out on Comino.
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