28 June 2007

We refer to Sylvana Debono’s letter of 27th June on behalf of Mepa, in reply to our previous statement that almost one third of the area approved for redevelopment at Ramla Bay consists of structures built without a permit, and that these cannot qualify for redevelopment.

These structures consist of storage rooms, large elevated terraces used as car parks, and an elevated road with supporting walls. Ms Debono replied in her letter that there was no need for a permit to build these rooms and other structures as they were considered “ancillary” to the development Ulysses Lodge, which was built in the 1970s. To corroborate this statement, she uses the fact that no legal action was ever taken on these rooms and structures.

Din l-Art Helwa and the Gaia Foundation fear that a dangerous precedent is being set by this case. We strongly disagree with these statements made by Ms Debono, and request clarification in detail on each of these points:

1. Does this mean that any rooms or terraces built in the 1970s without a permit as “ancillary” to another building, in an area outside the development zone, and on which legal action was not previously taken, can be considered as a legal footprint that qualifies for redevelopment?

2. Ms Debono states that since a permit had been granted for the original Ulysses Lodge building, the Mepa board concluded that the surrounding area was considered to be “committed”. Does this mean that the undeveloped area around any permitted structure outside the development zone, can be considered as “committed”?


Dr Petra Bianchi                                                  Dr Rudolf Ragonesi

Director – Din l-Art Helwa                        Executive Director – Gaia Foundation