Nine eNGOs oppose PA’s decision to extend all development permits

construction site
Miguela Xuereb

Nine eNGOs have condemned the decision by the Planning Authority to extend all development permits until 2022 for a further three years.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the eNGOS explained that this legal notice is bound to go unnoticed as Malta is focused primarily on coping with the COVID-19.

On Saturday, the Planning Authority (PA) decided to extend all development permits which are still within their validity period but are due to expire by, or any date earlier to, the 31st December 2022.

The Planning Authority said that the developments permits will be extended by an additional 3 years and applies only to permits which are already in hand.

According to the authority, this decision was taken in the context of these extraordinary circumstances that the country is facing and that this decision will prevent current permit holders from having to carry out a significant amount of works within a short period, once normality is restored.

The eNGOs said that this is an unprecedented move by the Planning Authority.

They also mentioned how planning permits will be issued practically by email whilst the appeal process before the EPRT and the Court of Appeal is at a standstill.

“It illustrates yet again that same authority has lost track of its mission statement to secure a balanced and sustainable environment for our community and provide a better quality of life through a sustainable land use planning system”.- said the nine eNGOs

The nine eNGOs are;

  • Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA)
  • Futur Ambjent Wiehed (FAW)
  • The Ramblers Association of Malta (RAM)
  • Bicycle Advocacy Group (BAG)
  • Malta Youth in Agriculture Foundation (MaYA)
  • Friends of the Earth Malta (FoE)
  • Moviment Graffitti (MG)
  • Nature Trust Malta (NTM)
  • Isles of the Left (IotL)  

The eNGOs continued to explain that the Legal Notice was not preceded by a legally-required public consultation and the PA’s invitation for the public to participate at hearings electronically is discriminatory and excludes persons without access to electronic means of communication.

“The Legal Notice makes a mockery of the Aarhus Convention, which does not include a clause allowing the PA Chairperson absolute discretion to act in a discriminatory manner regarding planning applications.”- said the eNGOs

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