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COURT RULES IN FAVOUR OF MEPA

A judgement from the First Hall of Civil Courts has been delivered in favour of MEPA against the developer of a site in Dingli.

The case dates back to 1985 when a boundary wall was illegally constructed around the perimeter of a property. At the time, MEPA took legal action against the developer. Further inspections carried out led to the discovery that the existing rooms, which were legal, had been demolished and a larger dwelling unit had been constructed in their place.

Legal action was taken once again; the owner of the site applied for sanctioning of the illegal development but this was never granted. Since all planning proceedings were finalised, MEPA took direct action on site in May 2001, and subsequently several court proceedings in front of the First Hall of Civil Courts were instituted against MEPA to inhibit any action on site.

Again, these inhibition orders were turned down by the court. MEPA officials carried out the necessary actions on site, yet new court proceedings were instituted by the owner, asking the Court to declare that the Authority had stepped outside remit and that the works to demolish the development were conducted with negligence and had caused unnecessary damage to the property.

Just a few weeks ago, the First Hall of Civil Court dismissed these demands and confirmed that the Authority had not gone out of its legislative parameters and that it had the right to take these measures. According to the Court, though, the Authority was ordered to liquidate the amount of €4000 since the execution of the direct action caused damages to a water cistern, an entrance to a cave and a swimming pool. The removal of the temporary boundary wall which was placed around the site by the Authority was also ordered. Both parties have appealed from this decision.