Fabian Demicoli

Renewal and amendments of permits

A guidance document which regulates the renewal or amendment for planning permission has been published for public consultation by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA). This document aims to eliminate uncertainty amongst applicants by establishing clear guidelines and procedures for renewal of permits that are about to expire. The presumption lies in favour of renewal of permits save for the cases indentified in the guidelines

 

The proposed guidelines also ensure that the community's interests are safeguarded whereby there is an end in sight on permitted development. Work on this guidance document started back in October 2011, when the Chairpersons' of the Environment and Planning Commissions, at a Mepa Board meeting, raised a number of issues with the procedural system that was being adopted in processing and permitting the renewal or amendment of planning applications. Early last year, the Planning Directorate presented the Board with a proposed framework for discussion. In October 2012, the Mepa Board, following various discussion meetings, approved the document for public consultation. Prior to publishing this proposed guidance document the Authority held a number of pre-consultation meetings with the Kamra tal-Periti.

All renewal applications need to be submitted before the expiry date of a planning permit. These applications will be screened and processed in accordance with current planning regulations. All those renewal applications where no changes have taken place on site, will be accepted and a further validity period will be given. The guidance document also clarifies that when an amendment permission is granted on an existing valid planning permit, the amended permit will not have a new validity period.

The amended permit will expire with the validity of the original permission.

An applicant who simultaneously intends to renew and amend a planning permit need not submit two applications. A new category of application is being created to cater for this occurrence.

All interested stakeholders can view the draft guidance document on:www.mepa.org.mt/public-consultation.

A series of consultation meetings will the held in the coming days with a number of stakeholders including eNGOs, Periti and the Malta Developers Association to obtain their feedback and proposals for these guidelines. Submissions and comments can be sent to by not later than Wednesday 13th February 2013.

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