Fabian Demicoli

GRTU’s Comments on the issue of Development Boundaries

During the Public Consultation process on the rationalization development boundaries, GRTU pointed out that initially the criteria as suggested by Cabinet should be fine-tuned in order to make the process much fairer in the interests of a better planning process.

GRTU notes that should this exercise have been done properly, the first thing that should have been done is to define the urban boundaries of every settlement, town and village in Malta and Gozo. In this way, the price of property would have been better stabilized as this would have increased the supply side.

During the Public Consultation process on the rationalization development boundaries, GRTU pointed out that initially the criteria as suggested by Cabinet should be fine-tuned in order to make the process much fairer in the interests of a better planning process.

GRTU notes that should this exercise have been done properly, the first thing that should have been done is to define the urban boundaries of every settlement, town and village in Malta and Gozo. In this way, the price of property would have been better stabilized as this would have increased the supply side.

Although Government had tried to define such boundaries in order to rectify anomalies and at the same time increase the urban supply, it was also wary of releasing large amounts of land for development.

GRTU notes inconsistencies between the guidelines for the rationalization exercise and the desire to restrict new developments. This resulted in an unfair outcome where land that conformed with the guidelines was not included for development purpose. GRTU contends that this is illogical and detrimental from many aspects.

If one had to apply the criteria as per cabinet memo, a larger amount of land requested would have qualified. Government placed itself in a very difficult situation where it had to decide between the needs and desires of all parties involved. GRTU supports all those who feel that this exercise has been particularly unfair and in many cases no justice has been done and previous anomalies have not been rectified in quite a large number of cases.

The process itself was subject to differing interpretation by Planning Directorate and GRTU does not feel that MEPA was given enough time to do a just and professionally well prepared exercise. GRTU is particularly concerned that there is no appeal process so that any person who feels discriminated against can have redress. GRTU is seeking legal advice to establish whether this position is compatible with local and EU law.

GRTU fails to understand how MEPA and the Cabinet of Ministers took 18 long years to realize that the “temporary” schemes needed adjusting, and then this “adjusting” was carried out in less than a month and a half. GRTU like many others in Malta feels that this form of decision-making is suspect and should be condemned

GRTU will be studying Cabinet and MEPA’s decisions in more detail and will analyse the whole process and all the areas released for development and will pronounce itself at a later stage. GRTU is inviting members and others from the business community to refer any issue they wish to incorporate within the GRTU analysis.

For more details please contact Mr Sandro Chetcuti President GRTU Developers on 99492095

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