Main Street in St Julian's was temporarily closed on Monday afternoon after scaffolding at the old Barracuda/Piccolo Padre building appeared to be close to toppling onto the busy road.

Police officers temporarily cordoned off the area as workers rushed to fix the teetering steel structure before it could cause any damage or hurt pedestrians below.  

Video shared across social media showed the top four floors of the six-storey scaffolding structure leaning towards the road. 

Video circulating on social media showed the scaffolding close to toppling over.

The scaffolding is in place as part of renovation works to the historic building, which is now owned by development mogul Carlo Stivala.

The works have been controversial ever since they started.

In January Times of Malta reported how the St Julians council had raised the alarm that works on the landmark restaurant started over the New Year weekend despite the project's planning application being suspended. Workers were seen stripping the building of its wooden Maltese balconies.

The application was for a permit for alterations to the interior and façade of the building and change its use.  

The Planning Authority subsequently stopped the illegal works. 

The Planning Commission then ordered the forfeiture of a €2,300 bank guarantee covering the works and fined the developer €50 a day.

St Julians Mayor Albert Buttigieg said the council had warned the developer of the danger posed to the scaffolding by the use of heavy material to cover it and hoarding attached to it, both of which were catching the wind, which blows from two directions there, and pulling the structure forward. 

The council proposed a lighter material to cover the structure.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us