DLH Press Release – 8th July 2013

Din l-Art Helwa seriously questions the government’s decision to launch a revision of the Local Plans without an updated strategy in place and recommends that the government steers clear of hasty and piecemeal decision-making with long-term effects on our environment.

The existing Local Plans were drawn up under the overall strategy provided by the Structure Plan of 1990. An exercise to revise the Structure Plan through the new Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED) had already commenced last year.

Din l-Art Helwa calls on the government to complete a full strategic plan, with all the required public consultation, before revising the Local Plans. This should also be subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) before being adopted.

While appreciating the government’s desire to act in a timely manner and to encourage widespread public involvement, Din l-Art Helwa expects the authorities to respect all established environmental safeguards and procedures.  Changes to the Local Plans will have far-reaching impacts on land use, and the government must not opt for short cuts when our environment is at stake.