PR 08/23 | Extension of validity period of development permits

In recent weeks, the Council of the Kamra tal-Periti has analysed the contents of S.L.552.33 published through L.N. 263 of 2023 to better understand the underlying reasons for its coming into force as well as its likely implications.

The Council noted that this was not the first time a similar legal notice was published. Indeed, shortly after the first few COVID-19 cases in Malta, a similar legal notice (S.L.552.30) was published extending all permits whose expiry fell between 27th March 2020 and 31st December 2022 by three years.

The more recent regulations extend all permits whose expiry falls between 10th November 2023 and 31st December 2024 also by three years.

The Kamra recognises that for the foreseeable months ahead, the industry will undergo a restructuring process as it adapts to new and expected regulations including the licensing of contractors, the new builders’ licence, new building regulations, the implementation of new regulations on energy performance in buildings and construction and demolition waste, taxonomy and ESG compliance, among many.

It is expected that these reforms will result in delays as the industry adjusts. These adjustments will also directly impact on the profession itself which will require a degree of training.

The Kamra, thus, welcomes the fact that the government has acknowledged this reality by extending the validity of permits.

Concurrently, however, the Kamra notes that the way in which the extensions were promulgated created a number of anomalies. Indeed, all permits whose expiry fell between 10th November 2020 and 31st December 2021 benefited from a total extension of six years, while those whose permits expired between 1st January 2023 and 9th November 2023 did not benefit from any extension. All others were granted an extension of three years. This is illustrated graphically below.

It is pertinent to note that while the Kamra was consulted regarding the first set of regulations published in 2020, regrettably, no such consultation took place with the latest set of regulations.

The Kamra calls on the government to address the anomaly illustrated in the above graph and attached table as soon as practicably possible.