Din l-Art Helwa is firmly opposed to the latest proposal by the Malta Developers Association, which, as reported in the media, effectively requests the Prime Minister to facilitate construction in locations, or on scales which are currently not permitted, with the claimed objective of protecting urban conservation areas.

At the MDA’s annual general meeting earlier this year, their president had complained that developers often face delays due to heritage concerns. The MDA seems to be now proposing that their members would stop trying to build multiple storeys in old village cores, by instead being given permission to increase construction in other parts of the island. This is in itself an indictment of the ineffectiveness of the authorities that are currently entrusted with protecting our village and town cores.

This proposal completely negates the basic concept of planning regulation. Planning laws and policies exist to safeguard the interests of the community, and developers cannot be allowed to trade rights and reassign floor space from an area to another. The protection of village cores cannot be ‘traded’ for the disregard of existing planning policies elsewere.

Din l-Art Helwa asks the government to immediately and unequivocally reject this proposal by the MDA, and instead to strengthen the protection of both urban cores as well as rural areas outside the development zones.

22 March 2019