Citadel Boutique hotel application should be re-evaluated, says PD
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Partit Demokratiku, in a statement today said that it notes the on-going works beside the Citadel ditch in Victoria, Gozo. Which it said in this case means, “public land and heritage, in the form of part of the Citadel, has been taken over by a private entrepreneur for the sake of a boutique hotel.”
The Party asked why the Lands Authority allowed the uptake of public land “on what seems to be a false premise in the permit – which claims this public land as if it were owned by the investor? Was this an oversight?”
It said that it is requesting clarification and urgent measures from the Lands Authority which should ask the Planning Authority to re-evaluate the application. The Party also questioned “why the Superintendent did not intervene during the application stage, using his veto, as this is well within his remit?”
The PD pointed out that the Citadel is a UNESCO heritage site painstakingly restored with local and EU funds, and is part of our common patrimony.
The Planning Authority approved application PA 04553/17 in November, for an eighteenth century house of character in It-Tokk – Victoria Gozo, converted into a boutique hotel, which Wirt Ghawdex argued that “commercial interests are encroaching on the newly renovated Citadel Ditch, in plans to convert a historic town house into a boutique hotel.”
Then in April all works were ordered to be suspended at the site by the Planning Authority at a site abutting the Citadel Ditch, following the collapse of a retaining wall.
Last month, Wirt Ghawdex and Victoria Council, in a joint statement welcomed the progress on the repair of the wall, however they noted that the controversial two windows and doorway overlooking the ditch, will again be established “since the original permit has not been amended to omit these apertures, notwithstanding the damage they have created.”
The Victoria Local Council said that it makes it very clear that, “since the ditch belongs to the Government (Lands Authority), it is only the Lands Authority that can submit an objection about these apertures.”
Partit Demokratiku has today called for accountability for what it said is “the continuous squandering of public land and resources,” and insisted that “what belongs to the general public, including their taxes, should be spent for the good of the general public – not private investors.”
Partit Demokratiku leader, Dr Godfrey Farrugia, posed a parliamentary question on Monday evening to the Minister of Justice and Culture Dr Owen Bonnici about this matter who, in his turn, reassured the House that “the Superintendent will delve into the matter so as to safeguard our patrimony.”
PD concluded that it will never be compromised and will remain steadfast in its defence of our patrimony and our identity.
Photos Citadel collapsed wall in April and new additions