A stop notice on illegal works in Balluta seems to have fallen on deaf ears with St Julian’s Mayor Albert Buttigieg raising the alarm over the continued construction of a development at the former Barracuda restaurant.
The Planning Authority issued the stop notice on Monday and said that it would continue monitoring the site for any further illegalities. However, Buttigieg today shared images showing continued works on the site.
“Stop notice my foot! Workers are still working on site!” Buttigieg wrote on Facebook.
The development, filed by Carlo Stivala, the brother of Malta Developers Association president Michael Stivala, actually started a few days prior, conducting construction work on a public holiday and a Sunday, which is illegal under the law.
Buttigieg revealed that he made several requests to authorities, including Building and Construction Agency CEO Martin Saliba. However, nothing was done and action was only taken once Buttigieg took to social media.
In 1994, the Planning Authority had given this property and several other properties in the area of Balluta special protection status as Grade 2 protected buildings. Still, it seems that illegal works will continue with little action being taken.
According to the Planning Authority website, an application has been submitted requesting permission to make alterations to the facade and the inside of the building for it to be converted into a food and entertainment establishment.
The application’s processing is, however, currently suspended at the request of the architect.
The property next door to Barracuda is owned by Michael Stivala and had courted controversy over its aesthetic as well as the murky process which saw the project be approved. It was designed and styled by Keith Schembri and Josette Schembri’s LOFT Designs.
What do you think of the issue?