The Comino hotel and bungalow complex were listed for sale by Engel and Volkers for €100 million, but the company said the listing was a fictitious one created for training purposes and mistakenly published.
The listing, which appeared on Monday and immediately raised a storm on social media, appeared to offer a 70,000 square metre site “to be demolished and rebuilt into exclusive development of bungalows / hotel on this exclusive location”.
However, the advert disappeared from the Engel and Volkers website moments after an inquiry by Times of Malta on Tuesday, and director Benjamin Tabone Grech later said the listing had been a mistake by a new employee.
“The details in the advert were made up for training purposes and mistakenly published,” Mr Tabone Grech said.
“The ‘property’ was made up, and none of the directors or certainly any owners gave authorisation for such a post.”
According to the Natura 2000 management plan, issued in 2015, the owners of the hotel and bungalow complex, Kemmuna Ltd, had had been seeking to redevelop the properties for several years and were then in the process of formulating a development plan for the area.
The plan warns: “Further development can affect the protected habitats and protected species and if it is to be considered at all needs to take very strong cognizance of the location of these properties and great importance of the surrounding protected land and the impacts that urban development may have on such sites and on the wider SAC / SPA [Special Area of Conservation / Special Protection Area].”
Nevertheless, the plan does not rule out further expansion of the hotel or bungalow complex footprint, requiring only that the environmental and planning authorities that the necessary studies are carried out to protect habitats and species.
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