Dwejra boathouses being re-evaluated in view of Rural & Design Policy – MEPA

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Dwejra boathouses being re-evaluated in view of Rural & Design Policy - MEPAIn reply to a statement issued earlier today by Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA), the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) said that in view of the new Rural and Design Policy, the Authority has been instructed by the Tribunal to re-evaluate and take a decision not only on the 6 planning applications cases pertaining to the boathouses in Dwejra, Gozo but on all other similar cases it has before it prior to it taking a final decision.

MEPA also said that the new legal notice (L.N. 124/15) amending the daily fines regulations, which was published earlier this month, “is intended to address situations where the daily fine imposed by MEPA, following the issuing of an enforcement notice, would not be in proportion to the illegality committed.”

“The previous legal provisions did not allow for any form of flexibility to reflect the circumstances of any particular case,” it said

“The only redress for the applicant/contravener was to lodge a petition in front of the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT).”

“The provisions of this Legal Notice allows for a swifter and more streamlined process, whereby a sub-committee composed of three of the MEPA Board members will consider the applicant/contravener’s request for a reconsideration to the imposed daily fine. The subcommittee meetings shall be held in public and the decisions will also be made public,” th eAuthority said.

Fines subject to review under this Legal Notice and agreed upon between the Authority and the applicant/contravener may not be appealed upon in front of the Tribunal, MEPA said, “However, if the submission for a reduction of the daily fine by an amount as requested by the applicant/contravener is not accepted the applicant/contravener still has the right to submit an appeal before the Tribunal.”

With reference to the revised changes to the Traffic Impact Statement (TIS) process, the Authority said that “these were necessary since the former process had adopted UK procedures back in the mid-1990s when traffic studies in Malta were inexistent.”

Over the last 20 years, MEPA said it has built up an archive of TISs and was therefore now in a position to review the process and improve the system, based on actual experience in this field. “The system is now more attuned to the local context and situation.”

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