The Planning Authority said it found no objection to the placing of pre-fabricated offices by a Turkish construction firm on the water’s edge in Tigné, Sliema.
Residents told the Times of Malta that a few weeks ago, following the start of construction works on the Fortina Hotel site, TACA construction, which started importing construction employees from Turkey to work on the site, placed the unsightly structures on the water’s edge, just across from the former hotel.
Following a visit by Times of Malta, it emerged that the structures were being used as offices by TACA and not as living quarters.
Asked to state whether the placing of these container-like structures, metres away from a pool used by tourists, was covered by the necessary permits, a spokesman for the Planning Authority said this was not necessary.
“The case was investigated and the containers are temporary site offices and are within the footprint of the development permit for which no planning permission is required,” the spokesman said.
Ankara’s TACA Construction already hit the headlines a few weeks ago when the Times of Malta discovered the setting up of a container village in a quarry outside Mqabba to house hundreds of employees working on construction projects.
Tens of containers and a large tent had already been placed in the secluded quarry belonging to road construction group Bonnici Brothers, while a number of employees were already ‘living’ in the quarry.
Reports said that the company, which was already tasked to build the new Fortina project and the db Group tower and hotel on former public land at St George’s Bay, was planning to import some 2,500 employees during the coming years.
However, following the news on the Mqabba ‘Turkish’ village, the company abandoned its plans and instead said that it was going to house its employees in normal accommodation facilities. It also said that for the time being it only planned to import some 500 workers which were contract bound not to bring their families.
TACA insisted that its construction workers were not paid ‘cheap labour’ rates but their packages consisted of a salary, free food and accommodation.
A few weeks ago, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the country needs to keep importing such workers if the Maltese wanted to keep receiving increases in their pensions and other social benefits.
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