A total of 547 permits have been issued to set up billboards along the Maltese islands over the past 26 years, with the highest number – 58 – issued last year.
The figures were published by Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia in reply to a parliamentary question by Nationalist Party MP Chris Said.
Said asked for the figures to be broken down by year and by locality, and these figures show that the first 22 permits to set up billboards along Maltese streets were granted back in 1994. No indication was provided on whether the permits actually led to billboards being set up.
The number of billboard permits issued has fluctuated over the years, with the smallest number of permits – just 3 – issued in 1998. The 58 permits issued last year break a record of 43, which had been set in 2004, but which was also matched in 2018, suggesting a recent peak in the number of permits being issued.
In contrast, 18 permits have been issued this year to date, though the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to have impacted activity.
Marsa, Qormi, Msida host most billboards
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the largest number of billboard permits were issued in localities which host important road junctions.
The highest number of permits – 74 – were issued in Marsa, followed by Qormi (58), Msida (54) and St Paul’s Bay (42).
Just 16 permits for billboards have been issued in Gozo.
Billboard permits have been issued in 46 of Malta’s 68 localities. The billboard-free localities include Malta’s capital Valletta, as well as the walled cities of Mdina, Senglea and Vittoriosa. No permits have also been issued in Malta’s largest locality by area: Rabat.
|St Paul’s Bay||42|
|Naxxar, St Julians||28|
|Attard, Paola, San Ġwann, Żebbuġ (Malta)||10|
|Marsascala , Mellieħa, Victoria||9|
|Floriana, Ħamrun, Iklin||6|
|Gudja, Marsaxlokk, Mosta||5|
|Birżebbuġa, Fgura, Għajnsielem, Sliema, Tarxien||3|
|Għaxaq, Kalkara, Siġġiewi, Xewkija||2|
|Cospicua, Kirkop, Lija, Mġarr, Qrendi, Xagħra, Żebbuġ (Gozo), Żurrieq||1|
|Balzan, Dingli, Fontana, Għarb, Għasri, Kerċem, Mdina, Mqabba, Mtarfa, Munxar, Nadur, Qala, Rabat, Safi, San Lawrenz, Sannat, Santa Luċija, Senglea, Ta’ Xbiex, Valletta, Vittoriosa, Xgħajra||0|