Deborah Schembri to build house with swimming-pool next door to Joseph and Michelle Muscat

Published: January 2, 2017 at 2:14pm

Deborah Schembri, who is Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and for Lands, and answerable directly to the Prime Minister who is the Minister for Planning and for Lands, is not content with being close to Muscat every day at the office. She is now planning to move right next door to him on a street in Burmarrad.

A planning application was made a few days ago on her behalf by her architect Robert Musumeci, to the Planning Authority for which Schembri herself is responsible. There was no statement to the press and no form of disclosure from her office whatsoever, even though the circumstances call for heightened transparency and greater press scrutiny. Without that disclosure, it looks as though she was hoping to sneak it through before anyone noticed.

Even if everything about it is straightforward, the parliamentary secretary/minister responsible for the Planning Authority is still obliged to inform the press and the public when he or she applies to that authority for planning permission.

There’s more. Robert Musumeci is here working as her private, personal architect. But he is also a consultant to her government office, which begs legitimate questions as to whether she is paying him using her personal funds, whether he has waived his fees because of their relative status, or whether he has included his fees in an umbrella amount billed to the Office of the Prime Minister. Either of the latter two would be corruption and a resignation matter for both. But Schembri should not be using Musumeci’s services privately in the first place, because he is her consultant at government level.

The application details show that the Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Lands has applied for permission for the demolition of the houses at 22 and 24 San Pawl Milqi Street in Burmarrad, and to have a “dwelling” with a swimming-pool constructed instead of them.

The houses which Deborah Schembri plans to have demolished and rebuilt as her new home (site notice on wall), right next to the Prime Minister and Mrs Muscat’s home (pale blue door and windows).

  • A Camilleri

    Ethics? Conflict of interest? That’s just boring stuff. She’s also the minister for simplification.

  • Bernard Manduca

    U b’daqshekk?

  • alex

    And there’s Musumeci once again. Crieki, go crieki, go crieki.

  • Godfrey Leone Ganado

    It would be interesting to find out through a public registry search whether these properties are owned by her personally, and if so, how she procured them and how she paid for them.

    Perhaps also, analysing her latest tax return for basis year 2015 and her latest declaration to Parliament, unless this is still in draft form with her boss and promoter Joseph Muscat of Panamagate game.

    Once at it, one may also find out whether it is not just rumours that our champion of the poor, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, is converting a property in tal-Landrijiet.

  • Tabatha_White

    Is she fronting for Muscat?

  • Katrine Cassar

    Can an architect who is also a lawyer have a warrant for both professions?

    • No. You can have just the one professional warrant.

      • Marianna Galea Xuereb

        Are you sure? Is there some legislation that states so?

  • The day you see him light up at the sight of any woman, give me a call and let me know.

  • Rifless

    Simili fuq il-linji ta’ kif jghid Peppi Azzopardi fi zmien l-iStrina: “Kif tista’ ma tahxix meta hemm Joseph mieghek?”

  • Why would you need to pretend that it’s not you developing the house next door? That doesn’t make sense at all.

    • pronoia

      Nothing is as it should be under this government. Why would Deborah Schembri chose that particular address? It is more probable that she is fronting the application for someone else. This can only be confirmed through the public registry, to establish ownership of the property.

  • That’s because it was originally two dwellings. Garage doors are not numbered separately to house doors. Garage doors in Sliema, for instance, have no numbers at all, even when they are not linked directly to houses.

  • I think there’s some confusion here. These are not new numbers. That is an old street in Burmarrad where ‘garage doors’ are actually the converted remissa entrances of poky old houses. That garage door was originally a separate entrance to a separate house.

    Odd on one side and even on the other is not a new system, but the old system used by the British (it’s the same in their own country).

    ‘Numbering doors’ is a misconception. The numbers never referred to doors but to dwellings – i.e. it is not doors which are numbered, but dwellings. A grand house with several doors onto the street has just the one house number. When mansions are divided into separate dwellings – as in London – or knocked down to be replaced with blocks of flats – as in Malta – they retain that single number with a subdivision (1a, b, c Cork Road or flat 2, No. 3 Tower Road).

    • J Sammut

      If the garage were a “remissa” one of the door numbers would have been in sequence with 22 and 24 , that’s

      SPB 6053
      The new door numbering system is creating many inconveniences, people receive other people’s mail from abroad (like pensions), from government departments, Law Courts and the police, not to mention notarial deeds.

  • Jozef

    Shouldn’t that read house with hot tub? Sorry.