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Rubble walls, trees to go as permit is given in ODZ land

Application had been refused in previous years

An aerial view of the site.

An aerial view of the site.

The Planning Authority has given the green light for four houses and underlying garages to be built outside the development zone in Kalkara, the Times of Malta has learnt.

The site, in Triq Santu Rokku, was cleared for development despite several other refusals in previous years.

The case officer recommended against granting the permit but the Planning Commission still went ahead.

The development, covering an area of 1,400 squares of pristine agricultural land, will include the construction of four basement garages having a footprint of about 735 square metres, four underlying reservoirs, an access ramp, three swimming pools and adjoining deck areas, new rubble walls to divide the properties and the planting of carob trees at the rear of the site.

The site, which forms part of an area of ecological importance, is located in the area known as Ta’ Tewma, limits of Kalkara, and consists of a vacant plot of land and is characterised by a number of trees and shrubs, including a mature carob tree.

Applicant Norbert Bellia plans to have four terraced houses on the ground and first floors. Rubble walls will be demolished and two carob trees uprooted. All terraced houses will each have a washroom at roof level. An application, for the construction of a terraced house and basement garage at the site was dismissed twice in 2009.

The Environment and Resources Authority objected to the proposed development

In 2012, the applicant proposed the construction of two residences with underlying basement garages but this application was refused.

According to the case officer's report, no reaction was received from the National Commission for Persons with Disability, the Civil Protection Department, Enemalta, the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, the Malta Tourism Authority, the Occupational Health and Safety Authority and the Kalkara Local Council.

The Environment and Resources Authority objected to the proposed development.

The case officer recommended refusal because the proposal “constitutes new urban development which does not fall within any one of the approved government policies, plans and programmes”.

She noted that similar applications were all refused except for one across the road, which is at appeal stage and would constitute a precedent if approved.

She was instructed to ask the architect, Robert Musumeci, to submit a revised proposal description and revised drawings, limiting the proposed development to the construction of one dwelling unit abutting each blank party wall on either side of the site, with the space between the two units left undeveloped.

Dr Musumeci, however, objected and asked to proceed with the application as submitted.

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