Nationalist leader Bernard Grech has rubbished claims his home was built illegally accusing Labour of trying to "build a story out of nothing". 

He was reacting to comments by Labour leader Robert Abela who on Monday said Grech “illegally built” his home.  

Abela claimed his political rival had committed a number of illegalities when building his home and had only sought to sanction and regularise them once he had entered the race to become PN leader. 

Abela was fielding questions from reporters about his own property.

Asked about the Planning Authority's decision to regularise a Żejtun villa he owns, three months before he bought it, the prime minister diverted attention from the question. 

Instead, he claimed that his political rival had committed a number of illegalities when building his home.  

According to public documents on the PA website, Grech applied in November 2018 to sanction a basement pump room, some minor alterations to the position of walls, a staircase, a façade design and a front garden.

He also applied to sanction solar panels on the roof. 

Asked to comment on this, Grech’s spokesperson said Abela’s comments “prove that he did in fact illegally send a drone over the Opposition leader’s house in an attempt to build a story out of nothing.”

Last month, Grech had accused Abela of ordering Labour media to fly a drone over his home to film it. 

Grech’s spokesman said Abela was making a false equivalence between Grech’s minor property issue and Abela’s, which was far more serious. 

“Bernard Grech’s case is a within development scheme and involves only minor internal alterations and slight additions,” a spokesperson for Grech said. 

“Robert Abela’s case is an ODZ one,” the spokesperson said. 

Grech’s spokesperson said that the permit regularised on Abela's now property infringes the ODZ policy which allows only 200 square metres within ODZ, contrary to the 352 square metres approved.

Most damningly, the spokesperson said, it appeared as though this permit had been issued in an irregular fashion.

The PN spokesperson said the case officer involved in the permit had mentioned the demolition of a 400 square metre shed which had already been demolished 20 years earlier. 

“This 20-year issue was never mentioned in the case officer’s report thus misleading the [planning authority] board prior to their decision,” he said.  

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