MaltaToday previous editions

MW 4 April 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 23

maltatoday WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL 2018 News 2 JAMES DEBONO The Qormi council is object- ing to a proposed 12-storey of- fice block which risks dwarfing a 17th century windmill known as Il-Mitħna tal-Erwieħ or Il- Mitħna ta' Pampalaw. The Qormi council has recent- ly presented an application to restore the windmill and recon- struct its missing parts. The application presented by Meli Bugeja Limited envisages the demolition of the existing marble factory and the construc- tion of a 12-storey office build- ing. The project is set to include a retail and catering establishment at ground level and three levels of underground parking apart from offices. A public open space is also be- ing proposed through the uti- lisation of the floor area ratio mechanism which compensates for additional storeys over and above the height limitation with more open spaces around the de- velopment. The windmill has been sched- uled at Grade 1 for its protection by the Planning Authority. The Superintendence for Cul- tural Heritage has also insisted that the development should not impact the stability and the views and vistas of this historical windmill. The cultural heritage watchdog called for the redesign of the pro- posal "to mitigate the impact on the historical windmill." It also pointed out that pu- nic tombs were documented in the area and the survival of further archaeological re- mains cannot be excluded. "There is a risk that ground dis- turbance in this area may uncov- er cultural heritage features that may necessitate the amendment of plans". On its part the local council has claimed that the 12-storey office block will "bury" the windmill which is adjacent to the site in question. It also objected to another high-rise building at the entry of the locality. The council has called for an environment impact assessment and a traffic impact assessment, noting that this zone is already impacted by a number of offices including the HSBC head offices and PWC. The Qormi local council has recently also objected to another 13-storey high rise earmarked in the vicinity of the roundabout junction between Qormi road, Valletta road, and Triq l-Erba Qaddisin, on the site of an old farmhouse which will be re- stored and retained. The council also warned of the visual impact the massive tower will have on the entrance to Qormi and the increase in traffic in the area, noting that the junc- tion was already dangerous, and significant delays were already being experienced along Triq Manuel Dimech and Triq San Bastjan. Access to the development is also being proposed directly from the roundabout, which the council says would create a safe- ty hazard to other vehicles using the roundabout. High rise will 'bury' historical windmill, Qormi council warns MASSIMO COSTA PILATUS Bank has had its mem- bership of the Malta Bankers' Association terminated with immediate effect, the associa- tion said yesterday. After noting with concern the regulatory action taken in Pila- tus Bank's respect by the Malta Financial Service Authority in the past weeks, the MBA, which is a co-ordinating and lobby- ing body for bankers, said it had considered its position and end- ed the bank's membership. The decision comes after the MFSA issued an order to re- move Pilatus Bank's chairman Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad – who was arrested in the United States on 21 March – from the position of director of the bank, and any executive roles and vot- ing rights he held within the bank. Hashemi Nejad, 38, is fac- ing up to 125 years in prison on accusations of having par- ticipated in a scheme to evade US sanctions and funnel more than $115 million, paid under a Venezuelan construction contract, through the US fi- nancial system. The MFSA had taken charge of all Pilatus Bank assets and directed the bank to obtain its approval before affecting any movement of the bank's assets. The financial regulator had al- so stopped all transactions, in- cluding withdrawals or depos- its, and placed the bank under the controllership of Lawrence Connell, a former US financial regulator. Bankers' Association terminates Pilatus Bank membership Association said it would be expelling Pilatus Bank following MFSA regulatory action MATTHEW AGIUS A man has admitted to car- rying a small armoury of weapons in his car, telling the court that he adopted the practise after being threat- ened. Daniel Briffa from Birkirka- ra was pulled over by a Rapid Interventon Unit police car after he was observed driv- ing in a suspicious manner. Officers found a semi-au- tomatic Beretta pistol, am- munition, a survival knife, another bladed weapon and a knuckle duster in the car. Magistrate Donatella Fren- do Dimech heard the pros- ecution confirm that Briffa had cooperated with the of- ficers, to whom he explained that he carried the weapons because he had been threat- ened in the past and because he wore a lot of gold jewel- lery. He was charged with of- fences against the Arms Act. The accused, who told the court he was unemployed, pleaded guilty to the charges. The court put off the case for sentencing on 9 April. Briffa will be remanded in custody until then. Lawyer Noel Bartolo was le- gal aid to the man. Man arrested with weapons in car claims he was threatened RIU officers found semi-automatic pistol, ammunition, survival knife, another bladed weapon and knuckle duster

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of MaltaToday previous editions - MW 4 April 2018