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Planning Authority taken to court over Sea Malta HQ demolition

Heritage associations argue that permit was beyond PA remit

File photo.

File photo.

The Kamra tal-Periti, Din l-Art Ħelwa and Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar have filed an application in Court asking it to declare that the permits for demolition of the former Sea Malta headquarters was null and void and that the Planning Authority acted beyond its remit.

The organisations are also requesting that the Court orders remedial measures to be undertaken, as it deems fit.

In November 2017, a joint statement had objected when the Planning Authority approved an application for its demolition under the Dangerous Structure procedure.

Read: Sea Malta building being demolished

Read: Rear section of Sea Malta building ‘in poor state’

In recent years, parts of this building, situated at Flagstone Wharf in the Inner Grand Harbour area, were used as a warehouse. However, other parts of this block have been in a state of disrepair for over a decade. The site of the building was added to the Menqa concession, for which 16 bids were submitted.

“The PA is only allowed to authorise, by this process, works which are limited to the removal of the danger, and as long as the danger cannot be removed by temporary shoring, and works must be ‘limited to the minimum emergency works required to remove the source of danger, until any required permission for more lasting interventions is obtained’,” they said.

“In complete violation of the provisions of the law, and in defiance of a request by the Commissioner for Environment and Planning in the Office of the Ombudsman for the ‘suspension of this permit with immediate effect’, the authority failed to recognise its error and sadly, this building is now lost,” they said on Monday.

The first hearing of this case will be held on May 24.

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