LN to enable property owners in Malta to regularise in accordance with sanitary law.
If the size of the internal or backyard was not constructed according to sanitary regulations, the concession will be permitted as long as the length of any side is up to 65 per cent of that required by law and the overall area of the yard is more than 65 per cent of what was originally approved.
If the length of any side is between 60 and 65 per cent and the overall area is within that range, the plans of the dwellings could be considered acceptable subject to an engineer report stating that the rooms had adequate lighting and ventilation. These new regulations do not apply to commercial buildings. Internal or back yard less than half the size of what they should have been will not be accepted as they posed a public health risk.
Details of this new legal notice were given this morning by the director of Public Health Ray Busuttil, who is also the chairman of the General Services Board, which in the past two to three years saw a steep increase in requests for sanctioning due to these non-conformities.
The legal notice will give Mepa the power to sanction without the need for applicants to go to the General Services Board. With regard to floor to ceiling height, which should be 2.75 metres, the board was seeing a lot of applications with a height of 2.6 metres. This was due to smaller stone slabs and 2.6 metres was established as the threshold for the height limitation. If the floor to ceiling height was between 2.4 and 2.6 metres, an engineer's report was needed.
As regards rooms in backyard, these could not occupy more than 35 per cent of the area of the actual backyard and could not be more than 10 courses high. To apply one will have to get a specific form, available from Mepa, and have it filled in by an architect who also has to declare that it was a pre-August 1 building. An administration fee which has not yet been established will be charged Dr Busuttil noted that most of the buildings affected were apartment blocks or small houses built between the 70s and the 90s.
Mepa director of enforcement at Alex Borg explained that the measures were in reaction to the social realities of a number of families who ended up with a property which could not be modified or supplied with water and electricity meters due to the size of the yard.
These yards were often only slightly smaller than permitted and often served an entire block of apartment over which not all effected parties had control.
Source: Times of Malta online July 13, 2012