"MEPA's strategy flawed" - Malta Developers Association

The Malta Developers’ Association believes the planning authority’s Strategic Plan for Environment and Development is flawed as it is not based on “hard facts”.
The paper refers to the serious issue of vacant properties as a guess estimate
Submitting its feedback on the proposed plan (SPED), the association said this should have been finalised for consultation after the national census results were made public.
It said launching the strategic plan before the results of the census was contradictory.
“One cannot define proper objectives as the draft document sets out to do without first scrutinising the current situation,” the MDA said.
“The examination of the current situation is therefore flawed as it is not based on hard facts because these are not yet in hand.”
Martin Scicluna, director general of The Today Public Policy Institute, called the plan flawed in his Talking Point in The Times on Tuesday.
The SPED proposals had one major deficiency in that they took scant account of Malta’s abysmal planning history of the past five decades.
If it were to inject reality into the future planning system, the draft had to be radically amended, he said.
The developers criticised the short time window allotted for feedback and finalisation of the document. Such an important document merited more discussion, they said.
The association said that the issue of vacant properties was one of the more serious issues that the document referred to a “guess estimate”.
The actual property situation and the demand and supply equation needed scientifically researching before setting out planning objectives in this area, it added. “Anything else is just guesswork.”
It said Malta Environment and Planning Authority did not solve problems resulting from the published, approved local plans and kept refusing development permits.
“Hurrying SPED to solve this problem will lead to more mistakes and the local plans issues should be tackled as a priority,” the association said.
It said the draft SPED objectives failed to highlight Gozo’s shrinking economy and effective resident population.
There was no mention of a permanent link between the islands, even though the Cabinet that approved the document had also approved using EU funds for studies about it.


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