KTP writes to Minister Bonnici re SCH

The Kamra tal-Periti has written to Minister Owen Bonnici regarding his parliamentary speech on the budget estimates of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. In its letter, the Kamra has acknowledged that the statistics indicating an increase in the volume of planning applications processed by the SCH has increased from 1,099 in 2015 to 5,412 in 2016.

The Kamra pointed out, however, that the statement was “misleading in that the increase is a result of the new legislation which requires the SCH to assess each and every application for development permission, irrespective of its  impact on cultural heritage matters. Prior to the demerger, the SCH only had to deal with those applications that posed a clear and direct threat to our heritage, whereas now it has to assess even the most trivial of applications, thus impacting heavily on its workload.”

The letter states that while the Kamra agrees that in a country as small as ours, many types of development may impact on our village cores and architectural and cultural heritage, we are now in a situation where the SCH is overloaded with applications to assess, to the extent that it is failing to keep up even with those applications that should fall within its direct remit.

The Kamra insisted that the SCH should be given sufficient resources to fulfill its remit and deal with “the immense workload it is faced with on a daily basis”, pointing out that the MEPA demerger has effectively weakened the SCH rather than strengthen it.

KTP offered to meet with Minister Bonnici to discuss the matter in greater depth so that the problems afflicting the SCH may be urgently addressed.

 

Planning Authority Christmas 2017 Shutdown

PA to digitise PC applications through eApps

The Planning Authority has announced this morning, in a welcome move, that the planning control applications (zoning and alignments) will be included on the eApps electronic application system.

This follows on the inclusion of DNOs, compliance certificate, regularisation and dangerous structure applications in recent months.

The new facility will come into force on 2nd January 2018. Applications which would have not been validated by 22nd December 2017 will need to be uploaded electronically as from the 2nd January 2018.

To read the full circular, including the new procedure click on button below.

KTP writes to PS Chris Agius about outstanding matters related to the PA

The Kamra tal-Periti has written to Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Planning, regarding several outstanding issues related to the Planning Authority that are still not satisfactorily addressed. They include:

  • Lack of adequate consultation with KTP regarding amendments to the Development Notification Order, despite the Planning Authority’s legal obligation;
  • The addition of permit conditions that are completely unrelated to planning, which are placing Periti in an impossible position to certify legality of buildings, and shifting the responsibility of Government enforcement onto Periti;
  • The grave concerns surrounding the status of CTB concessions;
  • The extensive delays in processing of planning applications caused by the lack of adequate resources granted to the SCH;
  • Circular 2/17 which makes it impossible for property buyers to appoint a Perit of their choice;
  • The need to correct the discrepancy between Inland Revenue’s UCA tax incentive schemes and the issuance of UCA certificates by the PA;
  • The failure of the Users’ Committee, of which the KTP is a member, to meet;
  • KTP’s concerns on the functioning and composition of the DAC.