After a controversial ruling by the Planning Authority earlier this week, Gozo developer Joseph Portelli has said he will forgo the development of the villa located in the area of Muxi in Qala, which stands at the heart of the controversy.
He said that he was doing so voluntarily and with immediate effect. When the Planning Authority approved the permit for the said development on Thursday, Labour-led Qala Local Council strongly opposed the development and reiterated that it will appeal the decision, stating that the site should retain its rural characteristics.
Earlier, the Environment and Resources Authority has said that in principle this development is unacceptable, with ERA Chairman, Professor Victor Axiak voting against the proposed development.
The ongoing controversy came to a head when the Planning Authority approved the contentious permit to redevelop a 31 square-metre countryside ruin into a villa and a swimming pool on the pristine Qala coast, on land sold to construction magnate Joe Portelli.