Court stops Senglea restaurant from placing tables along the seafront

The Court has upheld an appeal by the Lands Authority to withdraw a decision by the Tribunal of Administrative Review which had ordered the authority to re-evaluate the application by a restaurant owner in Senglea to place his tables along the seafront.

The owner of Tas-Serena restaurant had also applied for a permit to place his tables on the small square next to the restaurant and next to the gangway on the front.

In granting the permit the Tribunal had said that the tables will not create an obstacle for boats to be lowered and taken up from the sea.

However, the Lands Authority said that the restaurant already had permission to place tables in front of its premises, and it could not also now be given permission to encroach on land which was not in front of the venue.

It added that the local council had also objected to the permit because it said that it was obstructing boats and the public from making use of the area.

The Court, presided over by Judge Lawrence Mintoff, upheld the appeal and said that the Tribunal had not properly appreciated the facts and considered the reasons of the Authority for this refusal; that is, that the commercial interests of the individual should not come before the interests of a larger part of the community.

It also considered that the restaurant owner had already been given permission to use public land in front of his venue, and therefore it ordered that the Tribunal’s sentence be withdrawn.