Importance of Local Plans cannot be understated – FAA

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Importance of Local Plans cannot be understated - FAAFlimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar said in a statement today that the “recent developments indicate that this administration appears to be bent on satisfying every complaint that developers have against MEPA at the expense of MEPA’s responsibility to safeguard the islands’ natural and cultural environment.

“This administration has conveniently forgotten the pre-election survey on environmental issues that showed that residents’ overwhelming environmental concern is the over-development of our islands which they want stopped.”

FAA continued by saying that “it is therefore worrying to hear Malta’s top authorities still speaking about the need to reclaim land or build higher when neither is needed since Malta has over 75,000empty residential units. If this is the spirit that will guide the review of the Local Plans, then there is indeed cause for concern.

“The fact that the authorities are already relaxing their pledge that there will be no change to the development boundaries is especially alarming.”

FAA pointed out that the importance of the Local Plans cannot be understated as they will regulate Malta’s environmental sustainability for the immediate future.

FAA said it “therefore questions MEPA’s commitment to public participation since wide public consultation is being launched without an information campaign, in the summer months, when MEPA knows that the rate of public participation is at its lowest ebb. It is also worrying that special committees have now been set up to discuss various MEPA policies behind the scenes. Are these committees functioning independently or will they reflect a Government agenda since they appear to be steered by pro-development individuals?”

“The 2006 Local Plans, combined with the Rationalisation Plans and the raising of height limitations ruined our village urban cores, greatly reduced residents’ solar rights and consumed more of the countryside for no reason other than to enrich one sector of the population at the cost of the public’s health. othing short of a courageous revision of those plans will set us on the path of sustainable urban planning and a decent quality of life, however the indications are far from hopeful,” FAA concluded.

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