The planning authority is yet to serve an enforcement order against Minister Ian Borg and his wife after the swimming pool at their residence was ruled illegal by the country’s highest court.

As the PA tiptoes an enforcement notice ordering the minister to remove the illegal pool and restore the site to its original agricultural use, The Shift is informed that Prime Minister Robert Abela has informally ordered the PA, fearing another policy move slow Backlash from popular minister as Labor continues to plummet in the polls.

Abela refuses to take action against Ian Borg, despite evidence that the latter used his influence to get approval. He pushed the development even when it was challenged in court.

In his only mild reaction, Abela addressed the legalisms of the permit, which the court found illegal, stating that Borg “should be treated like any other citizen” while completely sidestepping the issue of political responsibility.

Oliver Magro, the former OPM adviser whom Abela selected to be the PA’s CEO, is reportedly resisting recommendations from senior PA officials to issue the enforcement order with fines.

An enforcement order and a daily penalty of 50 euros until the original condition was restored should have been issued immediately after the court judgement.

The PA has not responded to questions broadcast two weeks ago about what action has been taken following the court ruling and to explain why no writ has yet been issued, the PA has not responded despite several reminders.

Minister Borg refuses to act on the court’s ruling, even after being reminded by The Shift that he had ignored the appeals process and pushed ahead with development.

Robert Abela, himself a longtime PA consultant, also declined to answer The Shift’s questions.

Two weeks ago, the court ruled for the second time that the PA had acted illegally in granting Borg permission to convert an agricultural field in the hamlet of Santa Katerina into a pool and entertainment area.

Although the local plan does not allow for such developments, the PA and its Appeals Committee have twice issued unlawful permits, the court has upheld. Borg was then the minister responsible for the PA.

The pool development came years after another controversial permit involving his home, also built on an irregular permit. The ombudsman had declared the building permit a “gross mistake” that should be reversed.

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