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PR 03/18 | Our Legacy – Wirtna

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PR 02/18 | Proposed new DNO Class for Fireworks Factories

The Planning Authority has issued for public consultation a draft Legal Notice which will effectively render any illegal fireworks factories built prior to 1994 legal, without any due process, application or consultation.

The Planning Authority is proposing that such illegal development is considered as “permitted development” under the Development Notification Order (DNO) Classes, even if such constructions are in conflict with regulations and legislation.

Under the misleadling Class title of “Existing development related to Malta’s culture and tradition”, the Authority is effectively singling out one type of development, and an illegal one at that, and giving it a carte blanche approval through a legislative measure.

It is important to ask why it is necessary for these fireworks factories to be rendered legal through this Legal Notice, rather than through the appropriate planning application processes already in place; unless, of course, this is because they would not normally be permitted if the current processes are followed. If this Legal Notice is approved, these illegal developments will be rendered legal without any public consultation, and without any consultation with the relevant Authorities.

The Kamra tal-Periti strongly objects to the proposed Legal Notice, and urges Government and the Planning Authority to review its stance in favour of a more equitable and just solution.

 

The complete consultation feedback submitted by the Kamra tal-Periti to the Planning Authority can be downloaded in below.

 

Perit Simone Vella Lenicker
Vice President

 

Planning Authority responds to the Kamra’s concerns about CTBs by citing the funds it has generated as a result

The Planning Authority has responded to the article published by the Kamra on this website regarding the predicament owners of properties covered by CTBs find themselves in as a result of the incorrect interpretation of the law regarding the effects of the concessions they were granted.

As explained in the previous article, property owners who submitted a CTB application to the PA to cover illegal development that fell within specific parameters, together with a payment of €250, were granted the two following concessions, as outlined in PA Circular 4/12:

  1. applications requesting permission for alterations and additions to the same dwelling unit could be accepted (without prejudice to any other requirements); and
  2. a Certificate for the provision of new water / electrical services to the dwelling could be issued as per Article 92 of the Act.

The circular also points out that CTBs do “not have an expiry date“.

The Kamra raised its concerns about the Planning Authority’s insistence that properties covered by a CTB must first be regularised before a new application requesting permission for alterations or additions could be accepted, completely subverting the effects of the CTB, which is a legally acquired right.

In its statement, the Planning Authority confirms that CTBs do not regularise or sanction properties. It also implies that the new regulations are in some way giving people an opportunity by stating that gave the “possibility to holders of CTB concessions to regularize the unauthorized interventions covered by such concessions.” However, it does not comment about various instances where applicants were made to regularise their property, despite being covered by a CTB, and does not comment on the legality or fairness of its unilateral decision not to recognise the concessions granted by CTBs thereby prejudicing owners of such properties, not to mention the banks that have hypothecated such properties as a mortgage security.

The Planning Authority concludes by saying that it “has received 5897 applications for the Regularisation of Development Inside Development Zone from August 2016 until recently. These applications have generated €13,901,159.06 of funds which are distributed as follows: 70% for the Irrestawra Darek scheme, 20% for the Development Planning Fund and 10% for the authority’s administrative expenses in relation to these schemes.”

This would appear to confirm a more cynical explanation as to why the Authority has decided to disregard the legality of CTBs – that its main interest is that of generating funds for the Authority’s schemes rather than seeking equity and fairness.

Members of the public and of the profession are invited to contact the Kamra tal-Periti on info@kamratalperiti.org should they have been compelled or are being compelled into regularising a property covered by a CTB, providing details about their case. All communication will be handled in strict confidence.

NSO issues call for Statistical Services for Construction Survey 2018

The National Statistics Office is inviting submissions from persons/organisations interested in the provision of services related to construction projects. The Construction survey forms part of the Purchasing Power Parities Survey.  Pricing a construction project involves collecting unit prices with which to value its components and summing the values obtained to arrive at a total price for the project. PPPs for construction are calculated with the total prices for a set of construction projects. The set covers three types of structures: residential buildings, non-residential buildings and civil engineering works.

Interested persons/organisations shall include in their proposals the following information:

a) Name of submitting person(s)/organisation;

b) Contact information for person(s) authorised to represent the submitting person(s)/organisation;

c) A outline brief of how the above mentioned objectives will be meet;

d) An indication of the expenditure outlays of the entire project.

Those interested should submit their proposals to the Prices Unit, National Statistics Office by not later than the 16th of March 2018 by e-mail on denise.magrin@gov.mt.

Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations revised

The Building Regulation Office, BRO, has announced that new regulations on Energy Performance of Buildings have now come into force. Published in L.N. 47 of 2018, they differ from the previous regulations as follows:

  1. EPB assessors shall be in possession of a warrant.
  2. A revision of the list of buildings exempted from the requirement to comply with the minimum energy performance requirements set out in Technical Document F (Part 1 and Part 2) and from the requirement of an EPC has been made.
  3. The requirement of a compliance certificate drawn up by the responsible architect or engineer declaring that a new building (or a building undergoing a major renovation) complies with the minimum energy performance requirements set out in Technical Document F (Part 1 and Part 2) has been introduced.
  4. When a building is sold or rented, the owner shall provide the buyer or the tenant with an EPC at the latest before the date of entering the promise of sale or rent agreement.
  5. For new buildings, a design-rating EPC shall be available just prior to obtaining a full development permit from the Planning Authority.
  6. Designers of new buildings shall ensure that various energy efficiency measures are taken into account (Alternative systems – Article 6).
  7. Setting of different deadlines for nZEB:
    – new public buildings by 31 December 2018
    – all other new buildings by 31 December 2020.
  8. Buildings having an EPC being advertised for sale or for rent shall include the energy performance rating in the advert in compliance with the ‘Advertising Requirements Guidelines’.
  9. A legal framework has been provided for the implementation of inspections of heating and air-conditioning systems.

 

 

Lands Authority clarifies the issues raised by KTP on Property Valuations EOI

Following the call for Expressions of Interest for periti to provide property valuation services to the Lands Authority, the latter had organised an information session for periti which was held last October. A number of our members had contacted the Kamra tal-Periti to request clarification on a number of issues raised during such meeting.

The Council had set up a working group to address these issues, and had written to the Lands Authority outlining these matters. The issues raised include valuation methodologies to be adopted, payment of professional fees, and timelines for the drawing up of reports among other things.

 

The Authority has responded. Please refer below to the correspondence exchanged between the Kamra and the Lands Authority. Should you have any comments, it would be appreciated if you could forward to the Kamra by not later than the 30th March 2018 on info@kamratalperiti.org.

Property owners with a CTB concession at risk

ACE welcomes Public Procurement Package; reiterates need for quality-based public procurement

While the European Parliament is currently preparing an own-initiative report on the Public Procurement Strategy package that the Commission adopted in October 2017, the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) reiterates its recommendations for quality-based public procurement.

The ACE underlines the lack of quality-based decisions in the planning sector. Decisions concerning the procurement of architectural services have far reaching consequences in success of the project e.g. concerning buildability, equivalence for users’ needs and economic result of the project. A successful procurement phase forms basis for good design, creating value for all of the stakeholders throughout the whole life cycle of building.

The planning process has a minor financial impact on the total costs of a building: 6 to 12 % of the costs, and even less if considering the whole life cycle of a building. It is not a good strategy to save on design costs, as any investment at this stage improves the overall quality of the project, and reduces both execution and life cycle costs. Having this in mind, it is obvious that the procurement of architectural services should be based on quality only. A further step towards quality-based selection is represented by the architectural design contest (ADC), as the awarding criteria is not based on past works (references), but on the concrete project, i.e. looking to the future. In this sense, the ACE advocates strongly for using the design contest as the primary method of achieving quality-based and project-orientated selection for architectural services.

As showed by the ACE Sector Study, the architectural market is highly fragmented. More than 90% of offices are small or, in economical terms, even micro enterprises. Yet, they are still able and competent to execute large-scale works and create jobs. Fragmentation is a healthy factor, as it includes regionalism, ability to move cross border, to adapt structures on growing demands and needs, and to be innovative. The actual habit of requiring onerous eligibility criteria is mostly hindering this 90% share of offices from entering the market. A clear regulation to reduce inadequate eligibility criteria, going much beyond the existing rule, is urgently needed.

As recalled by the recent Davos Declaration endorsed by Ministers of Culture, Baukultur is of growing importance. The building sector is not a business like others, it has a huge impact on our built environment, our cities, public spaces, and the spaces in which we work and live. It is not only a question of culture, but also a question of the quality of life of the European citizens and an immense social question, including the collateral costs of all wrong decisions. Baukultur is a driving force of European identity, as the model of the European city represents a unique quality. It is a best practice example, but can only keep this role if the quality of its development is commensurate with the quality of the existing urbanities. High-quality Baukultur needs quality-based decisions.

The ACE shares the view of the Commission that there is a lack of professionalism in the field of public procurement. We want to draw the attention to the fact, that many of the ACE Member Organisations have a significant expertise in organising architectural design contests, as this procedure has a long tradition, constantly adapted and updated by the profession. Regional competition committees and professionally experts are constantly working on this field and we would appreciate a reference to this work in future recommendations concerning quality-based selection procedures.

For more information on the ACE position on Public Procurement, read the ACE Manifesto on Quality-based Public Procurement

 

The Kamra tal-Periti is an affiliate member of the Architects’ Council of Europe

EC publishes new guidelines on public procurement

The European Commission has published new guidelines on public procurement on how to avoid errors frequently seen in public procurement for projects co-financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds. It is intended to facilitate the implementation of operational programmes and to encourage good practice. It is not legally binding but aims to provide general recommendations and to reflect best practice.

The aim is to support public procurement officials in Europe’s Member States, regions and cities, taking them step-by-step through the process, highlighting areas where mistakes are typically made and showing how to avoid them.

Efficient, effective, transparent and professional public procurement is essential for strengthening the Single Market and stimulating investment in the European Union. It is also a key instrument to deliver the benefits of the Cohesion Policy to the European citizen and businesses.

This updated guidance was prepared by the Commission services involved in public procurement, as well as in consultation with the public procurement experts in the Member States. It is one of the building blocks of the Commission’s ambitious Action Plan on Public Procurement and contributes to the objectives of the recently adopted EU public procurement package.