The Malta Independent 6 December 2023, Wednesday
View E-Paper

Legal notice extending planning applications should be revoked, Moviment Graffitti says

Friday, 17 November 2023, 14:18 Last update: about 19 days ago

Moviment Graffitti on Friday called for the revocation of a legal notice extending planning applications by three years.

“The publication of this legal notice was carried out without any public consultation. Given that legal notices do not require Parliamentary approval before coming into effect, the government has effectively turned this into a strategy that is uses to pass legislative changes under the radar,” the NGO said.

The same exact thing happened in March 2020, when the COVID pandemic was at its initial stages. Yet again, a legal notice was used to quietly give developers across the island a helping hand without any public consultation on the matter.

We strongly condemn this blanket amnesty since it will only serve to enable development which has been pending for years based on the thin excuse that many projects were halted due to the interruption of global supply chains.

It is also important to note that permits which were approved long ago and will be given an additional three-year extension will not be subjected to planning policies which were implemented after the permit was approved.

Developers who were not even able to start their projects within the timeframe that is given to them should not be rewarded with a universal extension, and should instead undergo the entire planning process from scratch, the NGO said.

We are not surprised by the fact that this legal notice is clearly the result of yet more lobbying from the Malta Developers’ Association (MDA).

Unlike the general public, the MDA evidently has the ear of planning minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, who has spent most of his tenure as planning minister bending over backwards to appease them while failing to take any action to rein in the construction industry’s deadly excesses.

When the MDA as much as whimpers, the government listens attentively. When activists, residents, and experts yell loudly at the top of their lungs about how the environmental situation in Malta is not sustainable, the government sends in the police. This is absolutely unacceptable, and we demand the immediate revocation of this legal notice.
  • don't miss