AD demands democracy in planning and MEPA split into two

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ADSpeaking at a press conference in Floriana, Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson Dr Harry Vassallo said that the experience of the last several years showed clearly that residents and site neighbours needed a greater say with regard to developments in their localities.

AD Spokesperson of Sustainable Development Mr Carmel Cacopardo said that in the case of all large development projects affecting one locality or more and local plans it was not enough that Mepa held a consultation session and gathered proposals from site neighbours. Residents should have the right to decide by voting on all projects which are subject to an EIA procedure following a demand by 10% of residents or following a demand by a Local Council. “In this way the influence of developers and speculators can be reduced as can their need to finance political parties.” Mr Cacopardo said.

Dr Vassallo concluded by saying that the days of bulldozer tactics by developers or by the government itself must come to an end and that important decisions affecting the life of thousands of people for many years to come are taken by the residents themselves.

Dr Vassallo reiterated his party’s proposals regarding Mepa. Dr Vassallo said that proposed board members of all authorities are subject to a public hearing in front of a parliamentary select committee. “Mepa should be split into two separate authorities, one on planning and one on the environment. The operations of these authorities will be continuously monitored by a parliamentary committee.” Dr Vassallo concluded by emphasizing that only the presence of Greens in parliament and as part of a coalition government after the forthcoming general election will ensure that parliament will really be a watchdog on public authorities

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