The MEPA Board, at a public meeting today, refused to grant planning permission to sanction illegal works that were carried out at a number of boathouses in Dwejra , Gozo.
Although planning refusal had been granted by the MEPA Board in 2010, earlier this year, in view of the new Rural and Design Policy, the Authority said it had been instructed by the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) to re-evaluate and take a decision on a number of planning applications cases prior to it taking a final decision.
The applications which were refused included the sanctioning of a boathouse, the addition of a room to another boathouse and the creation of a separate residential unit.
The Board also refused in principle the addition of a boundary wall to an existing boathouse which would have enclosed further open space in the area.
However, the Board granted planning permission for the reconstruction of a permitted boathouse which collapsed while works were being carried out for the replacement of dangerous roof. Planning permission was granted on exactly the same footprint and height as the previously approved permit, MEPA said.
Additionally, the Board also gave planning permission to a boathouse in Dwejra which in 2008 had been approved by a previous Board but had failed to pay its planning permit obligations. As a consequence the Board doubled the fine that had been imposed.
The MEPA Board refused planning permission for the partial demolition of an existing two storey building and the construction of four semi detached villas with underlying semi-basements.
The Board cited that the proposed development within the Residential Priority Area of Lija did not respect the interpretation of policy which safeguards the integrity of large greens and green open spaces and would result in overdevelopment.