The owner of a garage in Birkirkara who, in March 2009, illegally changed it use to provide car wash and valenting services, was handed down a 5 month suspended jail term and ordered to pay €1,200 by the Magistrates Court after he ignoring MEPA’s enforcement notice.
Way back in 2007, the owner had applied for planning permission to change his private car garage into a car valeting workshop. This permission was not granted by the Development Control Commission since this operation would create bad neighborliness given that the area is zoned as a residential area. Despite being refused planning permission the owner decided to carry out this illegal change of use.
Among documents exhibited in court, was a letter the owner had to the Mepa chairman denying he was causing noise or environmental damage and in so doing admitted he was using the garage as an illegal car wash.
The court was presided over by Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit. Lawyer Robert Abela appeared parte civile on behalf of the Authority.