The Civil Court has ordered a company owned by Charles Polidano, known as iċ-Ċaqnu, to immediately halt all excavation in a site in St Julian’s, adjacent to the Hotel Valentina.
In a decision handed down on 3rd August by Madam Justice Anna Felice, the major developer was told in no uncertain terms to stop development on an 11-storey, 86-room hotel on the former site of establishments like New York Best and Misfits.
Demolition and excavation, which generate a lot of noise and dust, are prohibited by law between 15th June and 30th September in certain areas identified as key tourism zones.
However, DGE Investments, in which Mr Polidano is the sole director and shareholder, continued to work on the site on the strength of an exemption granted by the Building and Construction Authority.
However, the exemption only covered works which were necessary to shore up the adjacent buildings, to prevent the danger of damage or collapse.
Shoring involves the introduction of temporary supports for buildings, typically used to limit hazards in relation to nearby excavation.
DGE Investments contended that further shoring work is required to eliminate all danger, but the Court noted that the only technical report presented by the developer dated back to 22nd December 2022.
“One would have expected that were the work truly so essential, the developer’s architects would have certified this,” said the Court.
On the other hand, Hotel Valentina presented the Court with an architectural report dated only days prior its submission as evidence.
This report stated that the wall abutting the hotel is “stable”, and that it does not require any more support unless excavation continues.
“The Court understands that further shoring will be required when excavation proceeds on another three levels, as planned. However, the shoring already done is sufficient to mitigate the dangers created by the excavation done so far.”
The Court therefore accepted Hotel Valentina’s request for an injunction, and ordered DGE Ivestments to immediately stop all further excavation, and to pay the expenses for the case.
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