Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
The Planning Authority has categorically denied claims made by Moviment Graffitti over an alleged episode where the microphone of an environmental activist was cut off during an online public hearing.
In a statement, the Planning Authority referred to a statement released by the activist group on Friday in which the Planning Commission was accused of turning off the microphone of activist Karen Tanti when she pleaded the authorities to save a site in Kalkara.
“Her pleas went unheard, literally, since her mic was turned off by the Planning Commission towards the end of her intervention,” Moviment Graffitti claimed.
The alleged incident happened while the Planning Commission was discussing an application relating to 18 apartments and maisonettes in Kalkara. The permit was issued earlier this week.
The Planning Authority said that Tanti was given all the time she needed to make her points about the case. It added that all microphones were turned off when the Planning Commission had heard all the representations and the discussion was exhausted, following which the Chairperson decided to proceed for a vote.
PA insists no cart ruts were found
The Planning Authority insisted that no cart ruts were found on the controversial site. It said that it took note of the concerns which had been raised by a number of objectors and had already suspended the application and ordered that an archaeological site investigation to be carried out.
“Following the completion of the archaeological evaluation report, the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage, which is the competent authority and has the expertise to evaluate and determine archaeological sites and remains gave its no objection for the application to be given the green light. Through this archaeological report it was confirmed that none of the alleged cart ruts had been identified,” the Planning Authority said on Saturday.
PA has obstructed the right to a fair hearing, Moviment Graffitti insists
Reacting to the statement issued by the Planning Authority, Moviment Graffitti reiterated its claim that Tanti’s microphone was deliberately turned off after the Planning Commission Chairperson, Simon Saliba, ‘deemed her intervention to be out-of-point’.
The activist group highlighted that their representative was drawing the attention to other cases where cart ruts were not given due protection by the authority’s decisions.
Moviment Graffitti also said that the site in question is a Class B scheduled site of archaeological value in response to the claim denying the existence of cart ruts.