Recommendations issued by the Environment and Resources Authority are not being given enough weight in development applications, the Sliema local council lamented this morning.
Addressing a news conference outside the ERA offices in Marsa soon after a meeting with the authority's CEO and chariman, Sliema mayor Anthony Chircop said that most if its recommendations were not being taken on board.
The meeting was held on the council's request which flagged a number of issues in a letter sent to the both the ERA and the Plannning Authority a fortnight ago. To date no feedback has been received by the PA.
In its letter, the council raised concern on the ever increasing parking problem, saying that the development applications submitted in just three weeks would see a reduction of 184 parking spaces if approved.
Moreover, concern was expressed that ERA recommendations for water reservoirs were being ignored, and consequently the sewers were overflowing following heavy rainfall.
Commercial establishments were abusing the system whereby they were disposing of their waste through the domestic collection system
The council also complained that regulations issued last year on waste disposal were not applicable as most of the developments were accretions to existing buildings rather than brand new constructions. In addition, commercial establishments were abusing the system whereby they were disposing of their waste through the domestic collection system, it said.
The council also called for the employment of full-time design experts, saying that the Design Advisory Committee rarely gave any feedback.
Sliema councilor Paul Radmilli said the ERA had no resources to attend planning commission meetings which normally decided minor applications.
Asked for his reaction regarding the PA lawyer's claim that the council had no right to go before the Planning Review Tribunal in connection with the Townsquare towers project, the Sliema mayor said this was contrary to the impression given to them prior to the Mepa split.
"Ironically, last Monday, PA lawyer Robert Abela, during a TV debate in which I took part, said that councils had the right to file an appeal," AlternattivaDemokratika councillor Michael Briguglio added