19th February, 2011
I refer to a letter which was published in the Times of Malta on the 11th February 2011, under the header ‘Resident’s cry for help’ by Mr Karl Consiglio whereby he claims that the souvenir shop beneath his apartment in Paceville is being turned into a bar and restaurant and about to open. He also questions what is taking MEPA so long to stop this happening. The Authority chooses to go by facts and not by what the ‘word on street’ is saying. The facts are accordingly:
In April 2008, the owner of the souvenir shop, adjacent and not below Mr Consiglio’s apartment applied with MEPA to change the use of the property from a Class 4 (souvenir shop) to a Class 6 (bar). On the 16th September 2008, the Development Control Commission had granted a development permit for this change of use subject to a number of conditions including that the applicant had to pay €12,500 towards the Commuted Parking Payment Scheme. Following a series of reminders, the applicant did not pay the requested fees and so the Authority, last May, dismissed the planning permit. Today, the souvenir shop is still fully operational.
With respect to the other souvenir shop, beneath Mr Consiglio’s apartment, which has been out of operation for a period of time, the Authority never issued or dismissed any planning permit for the change of use of the shop. Although recently works were being carried out within the shop, the Authority, upon inspecting the premises, can confirm that these are refurbishment works, for which no permit is required.
The Authority can reassure Mr Consiglio and other residents in the area that it is monitoring the site and should any illegal development be carried out, it will take the necessary enforcement action.