Malta’s only official camp site in Armier, limits of Mellieħa, has been slapped with an enforcement notice after being flagged for a long list of breaches, including the use of static caravans as “fixed residences”.
However, the owner of Malta Campsite, as it is called, is contesting these charges and has filed an appeal which shall be heard next month.
Issued last month, the Planning Authority enforcement notice states that the development permit issued in 2013 in relation to this facility had been breached and its footprint extended beyond the set parameters.
Developed by Silvio Abela of The Adventure Campsite in 2004, the facility was taken over by Vince Vella some years later. According to the permit conditions, a quarter of the site had to be dedicated to camping facilities, 20 per cent for mobile caravans and 16 per cent had to be landscaped.
The remainder of the area had to be used for passageways, the construction of small buildings servicing the site itself, an entertainment and pool area and parking. Moreover, the permit stated clearly that “no part of the site managed by the permit holder shall be used for the placing at any time of static caravans”.
According to the Planning Authority, this latter condition has been breached to the point that some of these structures have morphed into “fixed” dwellings.
The enforcement notice states that the site was expanded beyond its permitted footprint for the placing of ancillary structures, while alterations made to the main building were not in line with the permit.
In the latter case, the reception area at basement level was extended by means of a canopy, while tables and chairs were placed on a new pavement. Such modification meant that the function of this area was modified and is not in line with the approved design.
At ground floor level, the same building was extended and a restaurant was converted into a dormitory. Furthermore, according to the enforcement notice, the waste disposal area was also extended and another similar facility created outside the permitted site.
In view of these alterations, the PA also drew the attention of Malta Campsite that the condition regulating the land allocation of the site had been breached. The long list of irregularities also includes breaches of another clause of the permit, which forbids the developer to place any services on the roof of the main building without a separate permit. Other issues flagged were the illegal extension of the parking space on to an area which was supposed to have been landscaped.
The irregularities also extended to the area adjacent to an electricity substation, which was being used to store boats and place caravans.
From an environmental perspective, the PA flagged the transfer and deposit of inert material on garigue land to create the existing access road, while various other materials, including waste, was deposited around the perimeter of the site.
Malta Campsite owner Vince Vella declined to comment when this newspaper sought his reaction.