The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Over 600 ODZ developments approved in 2019 and 2020

Tuesday, 12 January 2021, 17:51 Last update: about 8 days ago

In 2019 and 2020, over 600 planning applications that proposed partial or full developments in Outside Development Zones (ODZ) areas were approved by the Planning Authority (PA), despite the case officer recommending for their refusal.

This information was tabled in parliament by Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia in reply to a parliamentary question by PN MP John Ellis.

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Ellis asked the Minister to provide information on how many planning applications in ODZ areas were decided on by the PA in 2019 and 2020, specifying how many of these applications have been approved and how many of them were approved despite the case officer recommending it to be rejected.

Minister Farrugia tabled the relevant information covering the period from 1 January 2019 up until 31 December 2020, including the recommendations by the planning and development directorate.

It showed that 2,527 planning applications that proposed partial or full developments in ODZ areas were submitted in total across the stipulated period; 1,355 in 2019 and 1,172 in 2020.

The majority of these planning applications were approved – 2,171 (1,175 in 2019 and 996 in 2020) – while the remaining 356 (180 in 2019 and 176 in 2020) were refused.

Notably, 1,516 (790 in 2019, 726 in 2020) of the approved applications were approved in line with the recommendations of the case officer.

However, 655 (385 in 2019 and 270 in 2020) planning applications were approved despite the case officer recommending that they be refused.

With regards to the 356 applications that were refused, 343 (173 in 2019 and 170 in 2020) were refused in line with the case officer’s recommendations while only 13 (7 in 2019 and 6 in 2020) applications were refused despite the case officer saying that they can be approved.

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