HPM remains more concerned than ever about the current situation, as the most
recent information is being verified and corroborated. Our legal team is
currently pondering various other alternatives to redress this injustice. A Constitutional Case is not being excluded.
HPM expects justice to be upheld, and has been keeping such international institutions notified and updated. We shall not be daunted to take this case in European or International courts, if need be.
HPM shall still seek justice and do whatever it takes to protect the valley and uphold the residents infringed rights. Same as the 3rd party appeal by Nature Trust & HPM, the next sitting of which due next September, by which there would be just clouds of dust and irreversible ecological damage to ponder.
For several reasons, the majority of which expressed in our website, this
permit should never even have been granted. It met immediate and total
opposition since the very start, and all sorts of objections and protests have
been forthcoming since at least 2004.
The greenery on the forefront is no less than the Tree Reserve growing from within the valley bed and overflowing into the development site.
Several NGOs and similar entities, 2 local council legislatures, and thousands of Maltese residents, have been involved in this ongoing plea to save the valley's green heart from annihilation. But so far, none of these voices have been heard.
The fault lies within the remit of all those who in the face of injustice remain silent and inactive.
Having said that, the thousands of voices and pleas made were all completely and utterly ignored in an outrageously dictatorial and anti-democratic manner, to the permanent detriment and shame of us all.
2nd July 2011
the meantime, MEPA has issued a counter statement defending the issue
of this permit and claming that it did its duty in conformity with its
policies and regulations. No mention was made of the area enjoying
international protection, and so many other factors were conveniently
ignored in this counter-reply. It may be viewed here:
It "welcomed active participation by residents and NGOs, and said it listened to their concerns".
This too is another farce. 24 affidavits were presented to MEPA in 2009 by residents declaring that their rights had been infringed. Nothing other than an acknowledgment was ever received in this regard!
This not to mention immediate and complete opposition by all the parties concerned, except the one and only MEPA. But yet they have the cheek to end their counter statement with this:
The major insult and concern remains that legal loopholes, development-oriented
legislation/authorities, and the lack of accountability make it impossible for
us to halt the works, at least until the appeal proceedings have been
There is no real protection nor interest in this regard by the said authorities, who should have never even considered this application to start with.
HPM shall ensure that this infamy is brought to light where it matters. It is not the developers who are at major fault, for they are just minding their interests. And what is MEPA doing if not what it is best at?
And we have the cheek to say we are civilised, democratic Europeans and that we love nature?
HPM appeals to all those who are in a position to add their voice to ours to do so immediately. If you are really concerned about your future and sustainable planning, about nature and culture, about your land and your heritage, about rights and justice, show your disapproval in all and any legal means to your avail.
HPM cannot, and shall not, tolerate the arrogance and economic / executive power of a handful of individuals and entities to outdo that of the majority of the people, with all the consequences and implications, direct and otherwise, of such mischief.
Let us not be held accomplice to this tragedy, let us not be hated and remembered for our endless transgressions in the face of nature and our land. Let us stand together in the name of those who left us what they did, and let us strive to do the same. But the time is out and we must act NOW!
Monday - July 4th, 2011
Dear Mr. Walker,
We would like to draw your attention to the renewed infringement of permit conditions relating to case ref PA 05560/05. The site address is 146/148, Triq Il-Kostituzzjoni, Mosta.
Kindly observe the photos demonstrating evidence of some of the conditions being breached for a second time as well as other related infringements. The developer in question was stopped from carrying on with works in 2009 after the intentional destruction of retaining rubble walls without having the subsidiary clearance to do so by the EPD as per condition 8 –("This development permission is subject to prior written clearance from the Environment Protection Directorate regarding the demolition, or carrying out of significant alteration, of a rubble wall/non-habitable rural structure.").
We would hence like to report the following conditions breached:
9 - "All material derived from demolition of existing rubble walls must be re-utilised for the construction of new rubble walls. Unless otherwise required by any other condition of this permit, applicant shall liase with the Director, Park Unit. Project House, Floriana, for the collection of the rubble stone. Prior to the issuing of any compliance certificate, applicant shall submit written confirmation by the Director, Park Unit that this material was received at their end."
Additionally, please refer to the condition set on the attached excavation plan:
“Rubble wall within building footprint to be taken down with care and stones placed on pallets.”
The stones were meant to be manually removed and placed on
pallets but they were bulldozed into an area outside the approved development
area, contrary to other conditions stipulating that the said area should remain
untouched. We have seen the photos of the stones being bulldozed and piled on
the ground, no pallets, with anything but care.
The remaining part of an original
retaining rubble wall was also demolished by a bulldozer.
How can these developers be trusted to respect any of the other provisions if the very first one has been infringed within days of commencement of works?
10 - "Any soil on the site shall not be built over but shall be collected for reuse. A permit from the Director of Agriculture is required to remove the soil from the site. All soil shall be deposited at the place indicated by the Director of Agriculture."
The next photos show construction debris that includes cement, lime, concrete and other material bulldozed across the higher field to make a ramp into the lower area, with total disregard to soil preservation measures and techniques.
11 - "The uprooting of trees shall shall be subject to clearance from the Department of Agriculture and follow the provisions of Article 8 of Legal Notice 12 of 2001 (Trees and Woodland (Protection)Regulations, 2001)."
At least a dozen trees were completely destroyed by being run over with a bulldozer. This may be seen in the next photo.
16. k) No building material, waste material, machinery or plant shall obstruct the pavement or the smooth flow of traffic on the road in the vicinity of the site. The deposit of materials or the placing of equipment in the street must be authorised by the Police.
And Legal Notice 295 of the EMCS regulations determine that:
4. "Where construction work-related operations extend beyond, or affect, the perimeter surrounding the construction site, work shall not commence on the construction, alteration or demolition of a building until a covered way has been provided in accordance with the provisions of regulation 5 below to protect the public, except where ;
a. the work and ancillary machinery is carried out within a solid enclosure; and
b. the construction works and their ancillary machinery are at a distance of two metres or more from a public way used by pedestrians."
7. "The owner shall ensure a safe passage past the site.
7.1 "Where the construction necessitates the obstruction of the pedestrian pavement, and this is approved by the Local Council, a temporary pedestrian pavement shall be provided and it shall be kept clear of obstruction at all times. B 3811"
The following photo shows that heavy vehicles, although covered by a local council permit, did not have a police permit to do so, and factually obstructed both the road and the pavement.
l) "Any soil on the site shall not be built over but shall be collected for reuse. A permit from the Director of Agriculture is required to remove the soil from the site. All soil shall be deposited at the place indicated by the Director of Agriculture."
As commented earlier, a large ramp has been built over the soil. The correct measures to prevent the soil being contaminated by lime and other detrimental residue from the debris used to build the ramp were not taken. And this latter condition specifically and unequivocally states that any soil on site shall not be built over. Considering the impossibility of building any structures on soil, this condition can only relate to such constructions as a ramp or similar. So there is no doubt that this has not been adhered to.
Work has also extended beyond the approved development boundary, as may be verified here. (Also see following photo for comparison).
LN 295 of the EMCS regulations state that for buildings more than 7mtr high the hoarding has to be the full height of the building..
Schedule II (Regulation 6) Hoardings for buildings less than 7 m in height
1. "For any building not exceeding 2 floors and a semi basement in height from road level, it shall be mandatory to erect hoarding, made of suitable rigid material that is free-standing and independent of the building itself up to a height of 3 metres. Such hoarding shall be designed in a manner that conceals the site and protects adjacent areas from the egress of dust and from falling materials from within the site."
2. "For any building that is to be constructed over 3 floors in height from road level, it shall be mandatory to erect hoarding, made of suitable rigid material up to the full height of the building, Such hoarding shall, in the absence of a nationally approved code of practice by the competent authority, be designed in a manner that entirely conceals the site and protects adjacent areas from the egress of dust and from falling materials from within the site, provided that for tall buildings higher than 8 floors, as an alternative to hoarding to full height, the hoarding is to be provided up to the 8th floor and from the 9th floor upwards all windows and balcony door openings are to be boarded up to prevent the egress of dust. For sites that are recessed from the road, semi-detached or detached, such hoarding is to enclose the whole of the site.
The hoarding shall, as a minimum, be erected in a manner that ensures that it extends to at least one metre above the highest floor level within the construction site as measured in the vertical plane."
And yet this very morning, intensive works mainly related to soil removal by bulldozers is going on the property in areas touching unscreened third party property. The evidence is clearly visible in the next photo.
Notice the incomplete and inadequate
netting / hoarding screens in the incorrect place
Can you please instruct the integrated heritage management team to start immediate proceedings leading to an emergency conservation order. Additionally to the ECO, we are requesting that measures be taken at once to prevent any damage, intentional or otherwise to both the corbelled stone hut (Girna) and the network of interesting rubble walls, several of which constitute the actual valley boundary wall.
It is crucial that these procedures be
initiated and action taken immediately in order to safeguard our rural
Chev. Jonathan P. Cuschieri KLJ
Harsien Patrimonju Mosti ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10th August 2011