Showing posts from April, 2012

MEPA rejects Portomaso extension through Chairman's casting vote

A controversial extension to Portomaso was turned down by the Mepa board this afternoon after chairman Austin Walker used his casting vote.

The board members were tied with six votes in favour and six against after a four-hour debate held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre before a crowd of some 100 people.
The discussion revolved mainly around a clause in the previous Portomaso permit which stated that no further extension or development could be carried out in the area.
However, the legal representatives and the architects of the Fenech family, who want to develop the land, argued that the local plan approved 10 years later included this particular site as suitable for development.

A number of NGOs and neighbouring residents insisted that the permit condition was very clear and could not be superseded.
Various environmental concerns were also raised.
Mr Walker criticised the decision to include the condition in the first permit precluding further development saying that the han…

"MEPA's strategy flawed" - Malta Developers Association

The Malta Developers’ Association believes the planning authority’s Strategic Plan for Environment and Development is flawed as it is not based on “hard facts”. The paper refers to the serious issue of vacant properties as a guess estimate Submitting its feedback on the proposed plan (SPED), the association said this should have been finalised for consultation after the national census results were made public. It said launching the strategic plan before the results of the census was contradictory. “One cannot define proper objectives as the draft document sets out to do without first scrutinising the current situation,” the MDA said. “The examination of the current situation is therefore flawed as it is not based on hard facts because these are not yet in hand.” Martin Scicluna, director general of The Today Public Policy Institute, called the plan flawed in his Talking Point in The Times on Tuesday. The SPED proposals had one major deficiency in that they took scant account of Malt…

'Discerned' market value of properties, resulting in higher tax claims on purchased property - Malta Developers Association

Malta Developers Association: Government refusing to acknowledge fall in property prices.
MaltaToday Wed 18, 2012 - Duncan Barry

The president of the Malta Developers Association has claimed government-appointed architects are being "guided" by the Inland Revenue Department on the 'discerned' market value of properties, resulting in higher tax claims on purchased property.

Michael Falzon, a former Nationalist minister, has suggested that buyers and vendors who find bargain properties in the current dampened market are being taxed on the difference between the bargain price and the discerned market price.

"Although government officially says the Inland Revenue does not instruct these architects about valuations, I know for a fact that the department unofficially gives them guidelines on how much the discerned market value of, say a garage or a flat, should be...

"It is as if one buys a suit from a sale, and the customer is expected to pay VAT on the original …

New scheme to encourage use of old buildings

The government is to announce a scheme, including tax incentives, aimed at encouraging people to put unused building to use, Tourism and Environment Minister Mario de Marco said today.

Speaking on TVAM, Dr de Marco said one of the major reasons why buildings remained unused was the fact that they were inherited by a number of people and no decision was therefore taken on its use. Under the scheme, people who inherited such buildings would be encouraged to decide on assigning responsibility for the use of the building to one person. Tax incentives would be given on the building.

It was also being proposed, Dr de Marco said, that incentives would be offered for the use of large, old buildings. Such buildings, he said, were today unsuited for use as residences but they could be used as offices or, say, boutique hotels. The incentives would apply where such old buildings are reused for purposes which are compatible with residential areas.

The scheme is expected to be published in the comi…

Mistra Heights' land to be auctioned, valued at €5.6 million

The land in Xemxija that was to be the site for the massive Mistra Heights apartment complex will go under the hammer, after Ausrtian bank Bawag called in a €42 million loan against developers JPM Brothers.

The land has been valued at €5.6 million and covers a total area of 3,215 square metres.

The land will be sold by court auction in the Valletta law courts.

Unprecedented in Maltese banking history for the value involved, the €42 million loan was signed between Bawag and Gemxija Crown Ltd, the developers of Mistra Heights: 868 residential units in tower blocks of up to 11 storeys high on the site of the former Corinthia Mistra Village, in Xemxija.

Gemxija is jointly owned by a subsidiary of Kuwaiti real estate giant Al Massaleh, and JPM Brothers.

Massaleh's chairman Najeb al Saleh is also a shareholder in investment bank Fimbank, and is currently in talks to sell Massaleh's 38.8% share to Burgan Bank.

Works at Mistra were already at a standstill in 2009, when JPM owners Jeff…

Government to cover 15.25% of expenses on installations of roof insulation and double glazing.

A scheme to encourage roof insulation and double glazing has been launched.

Resources Minister George Pullicino said that everyone installing roof insulation or double glazing between now and the end of the year would be given assistance of up to 15.25 per cent of the expense up to a maximum of 1,000 euros.

One could apply for the scheme through a form obtainable from the Malta Resources Authority. The government is investing 400,000 in the scheme.
The minister launched the scheme during a visit to a glass factory at Mriehel.