News | Sunday, 04 October 2009

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Developer in second bid to sanction uprooting of carob trees

A Gozitan developer is asking MEPA to sanction the uprooting of two carob trees- which are protected by law- to make way for a dwelling and a swimming pool in Qala.
A site inspection carried out by MEPA back in July 2008 had found the carob trees “completely felled”. But in June, MEPA refused the Anthony Portelli’s application to sanction the uprooting of the two trees.
Although located within development zones, part of the site lies in Qala’s urban conservation area.
The MEPA case officer has argued that since no permission was ever issued for “the illegal uprooting of the trees” the permit could not be granted, and that the uprooting cannot be sanctioned through an outline application.
Portelli has now submitted a second application seeking a full development permit to develop the dwelling, as well as to sanction the uprooting of the two trees.
This is not the first time that developers have applied to sanction the felling of carob trees. MEPA is also faced by another application to sanction the uprooting of carob trees in Gozo. Victor Hili’s application seeks the sanctioning of the felling of carob trees to develop a 12-apartment block in Xaghra.
In this case, the case officer recommended the imposition of a €3,494 fine for the illegal felling of three carob trees. The development is being recommended for refusal because the height limitation of this zone was not respected.
New plans have been subsequently presented by the developer.

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