Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sliema clamps down on noisy, dusty works

The Times, Saturday, May 5, 2012 by
Juan Ameen
Sliema clamps down on noisy, dusty works
Council adopts zero-tolerance policy against unruly developers

The Sliema local council has declared a “zero tolerance” policy against developers whose cranes breach permit conditions and has actually withheld a €3,000 bank guarantee because of “a blatant illegality”.

The newly elected council clamped down on the contractor who had also placed no parking signs without its permission, it said.

Its statement comes in the wake of heavy criticism from frustrated Sliema residents who have complained on several occasions to The Times about the dust, noise and inconvenience created by inconsiderate developers.

One of the major concerns encountered “is the excessive amount of construction, at times with small side roads having multiple construction sites”.

The council said it was facing a situation where it was handling a number of issues on sites where the development “is not in conformity with the legal requirements”.

Infringements such as work being done outside permitted hours, inadequate hoarding and scaffolding and failure to clean vehicles exiting a site were being tackled.

The council was also contacting each developer to come in line and reporting cases to the Building Regulations Office that, in turn, was sending its inspectors.

It also said there was “an excessive number of cranes being erected or left idle even when works are not being carried out”.

The council said it was holding meetings with each developer and architect “to bring to their attention their obligations” and discuss permit conditions.

In the last week alone four such meetings took place with three different developers and their architects, the council said.

In most cases the developers were reasonable and accepted the council’s demands, it added.

The council said it was committed to work in the best interests of the residents and urged them to report any abuse by getting in touch through its offices or on its official Facebook page.

“We will strive to ensure that, with the goodwill of all concerned, the inconvenience caused by a concentration of construction sites will be minimised in conformity with legal requirements,” the council said.

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