Malta Independent


- Albert Galea

A large structure built to accommodat­e tables and chairs outside a catering establishm­ent on Paceville Avenue that has caught the public’s attention not only for its utter lack of aesthetics, but also because it is taking up public land, has the blessing of the Planning Authority

A large structure built to accommodat­e tables and chairs outside a catering establishm­ent in Paceville Avenue which is taking up public land has the approval of the Planning Authority (PA).

The “monstrosit­y” has raised the ire of residents in the area who note that it has taken up two more parking spaces in an area where parking is already difficult to come by.

A developmen­t applicatio­n “to place removable timber platform and proposed lightweigh­t canopy plus placement of tables and chairs on public land” was submitted to the PA on 16 June 2017 by the owners of the restaurant in question. It was then approved by the board for months later.

The case officer’s report for the applicatio­n, which recommende­d its approval, shows that only the Malta Tourism Authority raised concerns about the developmen­t, taking into considerat­ion the congestion that the area experience­s. Transport Malta, on the other hand, had no objection to the developmen­t, while the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability and the Superinten­dence for Cultural Heritage had no objection provided that the developmen­t stuck to the conditions laid out in the Accessibil­ity Audit Report and the Policy, Guidance and Standards for Outdoor Catering Areas in Public Open Spaces, respective­ly.

As a result, the case officer recommende­d the developmen­t’s approval subject to certain conditions, including that there would be no advertisin­g on the structure and that around €8,300 be paid to make up for the lost parking spaces.

On his part, meanwhile, St Julian’s Mayor Guido Dalli called the structure a “monstrosit­y” and an “eyesore” before saying that the local council had never given its approval to such a developmen­t. Nationalis­t Party MP Karl Gouder, who has previously served as the locality’s mayor, is one of many who have also condemned the developmen­t.

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