Showing posts from July, 2009

MEPA to remain involved in policy formulation

The government is considering establishing time frames for the validation process of permits, some of which would be determined by the applicants.

Moreover, Mepa would remain involved in formulating planning and environmental policy, Parliamentary Secretary Mario de Marco, who is responsible for the reform, said this morning.
The proposed reform of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority is currently being debated in a national conference held as part of the consultation process.

Various stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, Mepa employees and construction workers, are taking part. Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi is present.
Very slight changes have been made to the original reform document, the most significant one being that the proposed voluntary screening process would be given a four week term.
Those present put across their grievances, positions and opinions.
Read the full article here.

The policy formulation process - Vincent Cassar, president KTP

"Dismantling the Mepa policy development function altogether, which does not seem to be the case, although, as yet not clearly and emphatically stated, would detach the knowledge-base from policy development with results we would not like to imagine."

The president of the Chamber of Architects (KTP), Vincent Cassar, argues the case with regards to MEPA's future policy functions, today 28 July, in the Times of Malta Opinion column.
Read the full article here.

Church commission broadly supports Mepa reform, but disagrees on some key issues

The Church's Environment Commission has generally welcomed the Mepa reform proposals while also voicing disagreement with some key points.

In particular, the commission stressed in a long statement that Planning and Environmental Protection should be separated and the development of planning policies should not be transferred from Mepa to the government.

The commission said it welcomed the fact that the reform was based on consistency, efficiency, accountability and enforcement.

It said the merger of planning and environmental responsibilities within MEPA in 2001 had not worked.

"Good intentions will only be translated into a functional reality, if and when there is a genuine commitment to do so. Why should a legal merger of the two relevant Acts (the Development Planning Act and the Environmental Protection Act) be more successful?" the commission asked.

Follow this link to read the full article on The Times of Malta.

Malta Property News

The market has slowed down considerably, both in property sales, and in property rentals.
As is common worldwide in such dire straits, the number of articles, statistics and interviews about the industry are abound. But what are the prime reliable sources? How do you filter through other agents' sales pitch and cut to the real content? This depends on whether you're after a balanced quick overview, in depth reports, in depth analysis on a particular segment of the market, or plain viscious journalism and the occasional expose'. Following are some of the best links. Just click on the highlighted text:
Times of Malta - The islands' foremost english daily. Accurate, balanced journalism with a very popular online comments section underlying each article. Have your say and see what the public's take is. Awash with property articles and opinion pieces.
Malta Today - A younger stable of journalists, set up in 2001. Usually highly investigative, bordering on the aggressive. Ma…

Court asks for review of Land Arbitration Board

The Constitutional Court has determined that the manner in which the Land Arbitration Board is set up does not provide sufficient guarantees of independence and has sent a copy of its ruling to the Speaker. The case concerned land in Beng─žajsa which was expropriated by government in 1969 and passed on to Malta Freeport Corporation in 1989. The Court, presided over by Chief Justice Vincent de Gaetano, Mr Justice Joseph Camilleri and Mr Justice Joseph Filletti turned down the owners’ argument that the land was not expropriated in the public interest because of the Freeport’s privatisation.

However, the Court accepted that the manner in which the Land Arbitration Board is set up does not guarantee independence and impartiality.

The board is chaired by a member of the judiciary, with constitutional guarantees of security of tenure.

However, it also includes 2 technical members - architects - who are directly appointed by government for a maximum period of 2 years. These 2 architects provide t…