Times of Malta, 16 June 2009, by Kurt Sansone

The proposed reform of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority is expected to be made official towards the beginning of July, The Times has learnt.

“The government is fine-tuning the document and it will be launched in the coming weeks,” a spokesman for the Office of the Prime Minister said.

The PN parliamentary group held a discussion on the reform on Saturday, the same day the heritage group Din l-Art Ħelwa accused the government of “dragging its feet” over it.

The organisation said the government lagged behind with its promise to go ahead with the reform, amid an “unacceptable” number of planning applications and decisions.

The reform of Mepa is expected to be one of the more contentious the government is pushing through as it seeks to balance the demands of environmentalists with those coming from the construction industry.

It is being piloted by the Prime Minister under whose wing the authority falls.

The spokesman said that after the reform document is launched, a national conference would be called to discuss it in the widest possible forum