Press Release – 17 July 2013

Din l-Art Helwa is disappointed to note that the Malta Environment and Planning Authority intends to launch the revision of the local plans in a strategic vacuum.

A similar approach has been taken to land reclamation, where a call for expressions of interest has been launched by the government without any strategy having been presented.

Din l-Art Helwa also objects to the fact that this important exercise is being carried out in the summer months when it is to be expected that public participation will be at a lower level than at other times of the year. The first public consultation meeting has been scheduled for this Friday.

The revision of the local plans will have long-term and massive impacts on our environment, says the heritage and environmental NGO, and the public should first be presented with a strategic plan that outlines the government’s intentions and objectives. It is only against this background that positive and meaningful consultation can take place.

Some of the deficiencies in the local plans result from a lack of adequate attention to the capacity of developed areas, design quality, visual amenity, green spaces in the urban environment, the stock of vacant properties, the regeneration of historic areas, and many other important issues on which the public should be provided with information and direction.

Din l-Art Helwa calls on the government to postpone this ill-advised and premature initiative to revise the local plans, until it is has clearly formulated the strategic objectives that will guide the process.