Naxxar local council has unanimously decided to go ahead with its planned by-law to stop caravans and camper vans from parking permanently along the Coast Road, after it received no feedback from the government about its proposed regulation.
The entire council also decided to take all possible legal steps to enforce the by-law, which had been sent to Local Government Minister Josè Herrera but appears to have stalled at the ministry.
The by-law will now be re-sent to the minister for publication in The Malta Government Gazette, enabling it to come into force.
Mayor Anne Marie Muscat Fenech Adami told councillors during a meeting earlier this week that the proposed by-law was sent to the minister over nine weeks ago, in line with the law. However, no proposed amendments were received within the eight-week time window.
She said the government was delaying the process by asking the council to conduct an impact assessment of the new rules but insisted this requirement was nowhere to be found in the law. The council sought legal advice on the matter and was going ahead with the by-law. Envisaging another attempt to stall it, the council voted unanimously in favour of taking all possible legal action in case the by-law is blocked.
Times of Malta sent questions to the minister but replies had not been received before going to print.
Muscat Fenech Adami said she had attended a meeting organised by President George Vella for mayors where they expressed indignation over the failure to be consulted or informed of anything by the authorities, including roadworks and other projects.
The latest example, she said, was the proposal by Infrastructure Malta to build two temporary caravan sites at Armier and Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq. She told the president the government was steamrolling over the councils, which had been democratically elected to manage localities.
“Why do they call us local governments? We’re being totally ignored,” she said.
The council had officially objected to the caravan site on several grounds, the mayor added, including the fact that it did not know what the term ‘temporary’ meant.
The council insists that a caravan site has to be properly designed and managed in a site that is fit for purpose.
“The lack of consultation by the government on this particular application clearly demonstrates a lack of regard to the council’s authority and interest in planning for, and protecting, the recreational and environmental amenity of Naxxar,” the local council wrote in its objection.
It added that it was not averse to having controlled caravan sites in line with standards appropriate to a European country.
According to the submitted plans, the 4,000 square metre site in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq is to be located on a stretch of road forming part of the Coast Road, close to the Magħtab landfill.
The site at Armier will be located near one of the illegal boathouse areas and will span around 2,300 square metres. The area will be cordoned off with a rubble wall.
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