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Notice to Periti, Applicants and the Public

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DEVELOPMENT PLANNING POLICIES UNDER REVIEW

Your attention is drawn to the fact that Reg 9(2) of LN 514/10 (as amended by LN 158/13) states that:

“(b) Whenever the Parliamentary Secretary communicates to the Authority that a particular policy is being revised, the perit and applicant of any application, which in the opinion of the Authority, may be affected by such a policy, shall be notified of the pending revision of such policy.

(c) The Authority shall suspend an application as provided in paragraph (d) of this sub-regulation, on the request of a perit or applicant who are notified in terms of paragraph (b) of this sub-regulation, after the perit or applicant receive the report mentioned in sub-regulation (4) of regulation 8.

(d) The suspension mentioned in paragraph (c) of this sub-regulation shall remain in force until the policy to be revised comes into force or unless the perit or applicant withdraws the request for suspension. Such suspension shall however in no case be extended for a period of more than onecalendar year.”

In view of the above the Malta Environment and Planning Authority notifies that it is currently reviewing or preparing the following policies:

• Policy and Design Guidance – Agriculture, Farm Diversification and Stables, 2008.
• Development Control Guidelines: Development Outside Built-up Areas (PLP 20), 1995.
• Subsidiary Legislation 04.09 Development Planning (Use Classes) Order, 1994.
• Partial Review of Subsidiary Plans: General Policy relating to Regeneration/Consolidation Initiatives.
• Interim Retail Planning Guidelines, 2004.
• A Planning Policy on the Use and Applicability of the Floor Area Ratio (FAR), 2006.
• Height Limitation Adjustment Policy for Hotels in Tourism Areas, 2013.
• Fuel and vehicle Service Stations.
• Fireworks Factories (Kmamar tan-Nar).

In submitting their request for a suspension, the perit or the applicants are to state relative to which particular policy they are submitting such a request.

For more information visit www.mepa.org.mt


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Revision of Local Plans:

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The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) has initiated the process for all local plans, which today add up to seven, to be reviewed. The process is commencing with a three month long public participation exercise, through which, the Authority is inviting local councils, the public and all interested stakeholders to take the initiative and get involved in the entire process of re-drafting local planning policies which directly affect and impacts their lives.

The scope of this review exercise is to identify any shortcomings that exist in the current local plans but more importantly to propose innovative ideas and recommend new land-use purposes which can positively be considered during the compilation of the new proposed local plans. Following the draft compilation of the new local plans, which will get published next year, the Authority will issue the draft policies for further public consultation.

Local Plans aim at regulating development both on a regional level and also on the level of localities.

Local plans are enabling plan which safeguard land for a range of identified activities giving due regard to their context, inter-compatibility and to promote certain types ofinvestment in identified areas. They also earmark areas for residential accommodation, urban regeneration, social and community amenities, promotion of tourist activity, recreational facilities, employment opportunities, utilities management and safeguarding of cultural and natural heritage.

The Authority intends creating planning policies that are tailored to achieve a sustainable balance between the wide range of citizen’s aspirations. This goal can only be reached if active citizens’ participation is secured from the outset. Active participation is strongly encouraged so that MEPA and decision takers do not just get the views of the vociferous few, but would be in a position to gauge the aspirations of the many.

Throughout the course of this public participation period the Authority will be organizing a series of engagement meetings to facilitate and involve citizens in the entire process of this local plan revision exercise.

The public is being invited to submit comments and suggestions.

30/07/2013

For more information visit www.mepa.org.mt


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COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE RELATING TO DEVELOPMENT VALIDITY INCREASED TO 3 MONTHS

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The validity period of a compliance certificate issued by MEPA will, as of today, increase from six weeks to three months. This latest initiative forms part of a series of measures which the Authority has started to introduce over the past weeks to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape.

Over the years, MEPA has been making use of the compliance certificate is to ensure that development has been carried out in accordance with the relevant development permission, prior to the provision of water and/or electricity supplies.
In applying for a compliance certificate, an applicant through an architect declares that the development as built is entirely in conformity with the approved plans and permit conditions. A compliance certificate is issued on the strength of this declaration.

In cases where, following a site inspection, the Authority finds that there are still pending permitrequirements that can easily be addressed, the application for a compliance certificate, will not be refused but returned to the applicant, giving the same applicant the chance to ensure that all permit requirements are addressed. If the application is re-submitted within four weeks, than the €60 fee will not need to be repaid.

The period for a re-submission of an application for a compliance certificate, related to the concession scheme, known as the CTB application, is also being increased from four weeks to three months. The concession into granting a partial compliance was introduced last year for owners of residences that have an existing minor irregularity which is not creating a disturbance to neighbours.

MEPA CEO Mr Johann Buttigieg said “The introduction of this new procedure is intended to cut down on the needless bureaucratic practices we have been burdening applicants with. We remind and request of all architects to keep in mind the accuracy being entailed in the professional declaration that they make when applying for Compliance Certificates.”

All compliance certificates which are still valid as of the 24th July 2013, will benefit from this new measure and have the validity of their certificate automatically extended to three months from the date of issue. Applicants are requested to contact the Enforcement Directorate within MEPA to benefit from this extension. All compliance certificate applications which have been returned to the applicant, and whose re-submission period had not yet elapsed as of the 24th July 2013 will automatically have their re-submission period extended to three months from the date when the application was returned. These new procedures were discussed and agreed to by the Parliamentary Committee onEnvironment and Development Planning.

30/07/2013

For more information visit www.mepa.org.mt


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