Ħondoq Bay Hotel-Port Application Turned Down By Court

 - Local - Aug 1 2023 SHARE ON:
Ħondoq Bay Hotel-Port Application Turned Down By Court

The appeals court has upheld the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal’s decision to reject an application for the construction of a port, hotel, yacht marina, and tourist village in Ħondoq Bay, Qala.

Back in 2016, the Planning Authority unanimously denied the development permit, leading the developers, Gozo Prestige Hotels, to file an appeal before the tribunal. 

However, the EPRT rejected the appeal in November of the previous year, prompting the developers to seek relief in the law courts in hopes of overturning the decision.

Gozo Prestige Hotels’ vision for the 103,000 square meter site included a comprehensive complex with 25 villas, 60 apartments, 200 multi-owner properties, and other facilities alongside the hotel.

In their appeal to challenge the EPRT’s decision, the developers argued that the tribunal had misapplied the relevant laws in assessing their plans. 

They also sought a reference to the constitutional court, arguing that a local council representative should have been present on the Planning Authority board when major projects like theirs were being considered.

The appeals court, presided over by Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti, dismissed both complaints. Regarding the application of planning rules, the court asserted that the tribunal had the discretion to interpret them, as long as the interpretation did not directly oppose the explicit intentions of legislators or appear plainly absurd.

The court also rejected the request for a constitutional reference, deeming it “frivolous and vexatious.” The applicants contended that their right to a fair hearing was violated by the requirement for a local council representative on the PA board, especially considering the local council’s objection to the project. 

However, the court disagreed, stating that it was not unusual for a local council representative to be actively involved in evaluating a development proposal concerning their represented locality.

Qala Mayor Paul Buttigieg, who had spearheaded a 20-year-long battle to preserve the scenic bay from development, expressed his joy at the court’s decision. He emphasized the importance of the government taking the next step to secure permanent public access and enjoyment of Ħondoq Bay.

In an official statement by the Labour Party, the court’s decision to turn down the development plan was noted with satisfaction. The Labour Party issued a thanks to its representatives, ‘particularly Paul Buttigieg, the mayor of Qala and other activists, who throughout the years worked tirelessly to protect this site in Gozo.’ 


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The Green Open Campus Like You’ve Never Seen It Before!

 - Events - Aug 1 2023 SHARE ON:

Unplugged Mid-Week in the Park.

In a mesmerizing display of talent and community spirit, the Green Open Campus in Milbrae, Mosta, buzzed with electric energy, thanks to Unplugged Mid-Week in the Park events.

For four unforgettable weeks, this park turned into a haven of local music, showcasing some of Malta’s most extraordinary talents. From the soulful melodies of Aidan to the powerhouse vocals of Megan May accompanied by Ryan Paul, every act left the audience spellbound. The enchanting tunes of Red Electric and the ethereal sounds of Gaia transported the crowd to a musical wonderland, while Xarulu, Kevin Paul, Claudia Faniello, and Bernie & Pod ignited an electrifying atmosphere with their performances.

The Green Open Campus was overflowing with music enthusiasts who gathered every Wednesday during July to experience this midweek magic.

The events aimed to support the noble cause of the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation (MCCFF).

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined in the festivities, relishing the opportunity to support local artists while enjoying the picturesque park setting. The sense of community and camaraderie was palpable, making this an event to cherish for a lifetime.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the stage illuminated with the vibrant energy of Maltese talent, setting the perfect mood for an enchanting evening under the stars. Each act poured their heart and soul into their performance, leaving a lasting impression on the hearts of the attendees.

As the last note of the final act resonated in the air, it was clear that Unplugged Mid-Week in the Park had etched itself into the collective memory of all those present.

So, until the next musical rendezvous, Malta will eagerly await the return of this unforgettable event!


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Air Malta Cancels More Flights Between Malta & Catania

 - Local - Aug 1 2023 SHARE ON:
Air Malta Cancels More Flights Between Malta & Catania

Due to the ongoing effects of a fire at one of its terminals, Air Malta has regrettably been compelled to cancel several flights to and from Catania. 

The airline recently announced the cancellation of six flights between Malta and the Sicilian city, which were initially scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. The affected flights are as follows:

  • 1st August KM644 Malta to Catania, departing at 15:05hrs
  • 1st August KM645 Catania to Malta, departing at 16:30hrs
  • 1st August KM642 Malta to Catania, departing at 22:00hrs
  • 1st August KM643 Catania to Malta, departing at 23:25hrs
  • 2nd August KM642 Malta to Catania, departing at 22:00hrs
  • 2nd August KM643 Catania to Malta, departing at 23:25hrs

Air Malta acknowledges that this situation is ongoing, and they will provide further updates as soon as they are received.

To assist affected passengers, the airline has offered the following options:

Passengers who wish to rebook their tickets to another flight or date or change their destination can contact the Air Malta Call Centre at 00356 21662211. The call center operates from Monday to Friday, 08.00 to 20.00, and on Saturday and Sunday, 08.00 to 18.00.

For passengers who booked their flight directly through Air Malta and prefer a monetary refund, they are requested to send an email to [email protected].

In the case of flights booked through a travel agent, passengers can contact their respective travel agency and request them to submit a refund request on their behalf.

Air Malta deeply regrets any inconvenience caused and is working diligently to mitigate the impact of these disruptions. Passengers are encouraged to stay informed through official updates and promptly avail the provided options for rebooking or refunds.



3.3% Of Licensed Vehicles In Malta Electric By June 2023

 - Local - Aug 1 2023 SHARE ON:
3.3% Of Licensed Vehicles In Malta Electric By June 2023

In the second quarter of 2023, there was a noteworthy surge in the total number of licensed motor vehicles, with particular emphasis on the rising prominence of electric vehicles (EVs). 

The licensed stock reached 432,039 by the end of June 2023, indicating an increase of 5,319 vehicles compared to the previous quarter.

Electric vehicles played a significant role in this growth, constituting 3.3% of the entire stock, which accounted for 14,336 vehicles. This segment experienced remarkable progress, witnessing notable increases in various categories. 

Combined (diesel-LPG) motor vehicles saw a remarkable rise of 40.9% compared to the preceding quarter. Moreover, pure electric motor vehicles registered an impressive surge of 17.8%, and plug-in hybrid (diesel-electric) motor vehicles also showed a commendable growth of 13.3%.

This comes through the new report by the National Statistics Office (NSO), which showed that passenger cars remained dominant among the licensed vehicles, comprising 74.2% of the total. 

However, EVs, with their environmentally friendly and sustainable features, are gradually gaining traction in the market. Among the newly licensed vehicles, 55.6% were passenger cars, and encouragingly, 17.9% were electric vehicles, including motorcycles, PA-bikes, and E-bikes.


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