The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) has filed an appeal against the approval of a permit for the development of a villa in Sqaq Anton Mallia in Żebbuġ, Gozo.

The proposed development will completely eradicate the cliff edge and formalize a site that is currently pristine, while creating a private belvedere. The site in which the proposed development is located is sensitive and the development is not in line with the objectives of the Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED).

Before the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal, ERA opposed the fact that without any explanation, the Planning Commission ignored what was brought before it by ERA’s Case Officer, as well as the advice of external consultants and objectors. Additionally, permission was approved despite the fact that the applicant did not provide the information that was requested by ERA, the Design Advisory Committee of the Planning Authority and the Planning Directorate.

Three quarters of the site in question is in a zone outside development. ERA believes that the Commission was selective and only considered part of the development that is located within development zone. The proposed development should be assessed with all applicable policies, including those concerning ODZ. In the words of ERA, the Commission has “turned a blind eye to the holistic aspect of the proposal and clutched at straws in order to approve this development”.​