Does the Lands Authority make any distinction between different cases that have been reported upon?
To the Lands Authority all abuses of property should be controlled and no infringement of the law should be allowed. This does not mean however that all cases of abuse should be treated in the same manner, simply because not all cases are the same.
For example a case of abuse may simply be a case where defaulter did not realise that a permit was required from this Department – for example a person obtains a MEPA permit to place tables and chairs on a pavement, but then, for some reason or other, fails to request permission from the Lands Authority. In such cases the Department will take action to regularise the position and issue relative permit.
It is also important to understand that the control of abuse doesn’t necessarily mean that the Department should be draconian in its approach. For instances there have been cases where a person had bought a house from a third party and subsequently discovered that part of the house had been built on a Government-owned lane. In such cases it may not be appropriate to insist for the demolition of that part of the house that was illegally built on the Government-owned land. It would be more appropriate to sell the relative land at market value by means of a tenders procedure. This is in fact what is normally done in such cases, albeit every case is treated on its own merits.
The case may also be one where Government is awaiting a decision from a regulatory Authority (for example MEPA) before a final decision may be taken.
However, as soon as the Department is able to take a decision, it will follow the case with all the force allowed by law.