“Illegal work” in Birzebuga above a rock-cut chamber accused by a heritage NGO

Dinl-ArtĦelwa and the Maltese Archaeological Association condemned “abuse and illegal ongoing work” on Saturday, threatening the stability and protection of the lockcut chambers of historical interest in the area known as Tarpapa in Birzebuga. bottom.

In a statement by the NGO, in July 2021, the Planning Bureau partially excavated rock just above the bedrock, which is considered to be historically important to pave the way for the development of a five-story apartment. I issued the permission of. ..

Residents of the area appealed to the authorities’ decision and even demanded that the application be suspended until the appeal was decided. The Environmental Planning Tribunal dismissed this request, claiming that the work did not pose a threat to the heritage, as all works were approved subject to oversight by the cultural heritage director.

Despite these permit conditions, work continues unabated without continuous oversight. Not only did the contractor (and the developer) ignore the permit conditions, but they also cut and excavated the rock above the chamber beyond the boundaries of the site subject to the planning permit.

Illegal works spread to other licensed sites, Overview planning application, Din l-ArtĦelwa, the Maltese Archaeological Association, and residents have also been sued, the statement said. You cannot work under an outline permit, as the outline permit only approves the proposal in principle. Developers are legally required to apply for a full development permit before performing any work.

Again, this discourages developers from cutting rocks above the entrance to the room and destroying some of the contextual settings of this historic place where eNGOs and residents are fighting to preserve. did not. Graffiti, believed to date back to World War II, was also partially destroyed due to the illegal cutting of rocks.

According to the development overview applied to this site, at least 20% of it was kept as a public open space and was placed around these features that are historically interesting for people’s enjoyment. The Planning Agency has not shyly ignored these policies and has approved a huge development that, if realized, swallows the cave chambers and destroys this historic landscape.

The statement concluded that the oversight of the Cultural Heritage and Planning Bureau’s executive office was informed of ongoing illegal activity that threatened the stability and protection of the cave chambers of historical interest.

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