Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sliema council, ERA, NGOs ‘have no right to appeal’, Planning Authority lawyer claims

Representation on the Planning Authority when Townsquare projected was approved means that Sliema council, Environment authority and green NGOs have ‘no right to appeal’, lawyer argues

Miriam Dalli - Malta Today 10 November 2016

The Planning Authority has argued that the Sliema local council, the Environment and Resources Authority and green NGOs had “no right to appeal” the PA’s approval of the Sliema high-rise tower.

Appearing for the Planning Authority, lawyer Robert Abela told the appeals tribunal that the parties had already been represented on the Planning Authority when the project was given the green light.

“Incredible. In today's Townsquare appeal, the Planning Authority lawyer argued that Sliema Local Council, Environment Resources Authority and eNGOs have no right to appeal. One step forward two steps back. Case to continue in near future,” Sliema councilor Michael Briguglio said on Facebook.

On the day of the approval, ERA chairman Victor Axiak was not present due to medical reasons. The ERA later announced it would appeal the decision, arguing that it had “sufficient legal and substantive arguments” to appeal the case.

The Nationalist Party called the PA’s intervention today as “a blow to the environment”.

“This is a blow to everyone who thought that the environment and local councils would have a stronger voice as a result of the MEPA demerger. What the PA is arguing today confirms that the environment has been relegated to the second division,” the PN said.

The Opposition accused the Prime Minister of creating “a corrupt establishment” that is not interested in the public’s collective interest and the environment.

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