Updated: Mepa seals off development at Polidano Brothers headquarters
The Polidano Brothers construction group has had two illegal outdoor storage depots sealed off by planning authority enforcement officers early this morning.
Sources said there was a tense scene during the action at the company’s headquarters and a company official was arrested.
Over the past years, the contractors, brothers Charles and Paul Polidano had been illegally dumping hundreds of tons of rubble in the fields behind their headquarters to develop a massive scrap yard and storage depot which encroaches further onto a nearby fireworks factory which belongs to the Ta' l-Istilla band club of Luqa.
In recent weeks, the company had started developing a concrete structure.
The authority had slapped the company with an enforcement notice back in 2009 for the illegal dumping but escalated the action after The Times started investigating the case last week.
The site in question has seen several illegal development ever since work begun in 1991 until the headquarters, which cover some 45,000 square metres started receiving sanctioning and permits from 2004 onwards.
In 2005, the authority gave its go ahead to a gas plant, which stands less than 140 metres away from the fireworks factory. With this latest development, the boundary walls of the storage depot bring the distance down to less than five metres at some points.
In a statement, Mepa said it had placed concrete blocks to seal off the sites which were being illegally used by the developer to dump inert material, scrap and other vehicle parts together with the placing of heavy plant machinery and precast elements. In one of the sites, the developer recently started construction works without any permit and was immediately stopped.
A police officer has been stationed to prevent any further illegal development.
Mepa said that earlier this week, following several warnings, it requested the police to initiate criminal action against the developer for abusively carrying out a series of developments within the Hal Farrug area without the necessary planning permits.