Posts

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CIR 05/22 | Water Services Corporation Online Portal – Update

Following the publication of Circular CIR 02/22, the Council has had a meeting with the Water Services Corporation to discuss to iron out the liability and security issues present in its online portal.

With satisfaction, we wish to inform members of the profession that the portal was redesigned and is now live.

CIR 02/22 is thus hereby repealed.

Periti may wish to proceed with the submission of WSC clearance requests using the newly redesigned portal.

We take this opportunity to thank the WSC management and technical staff for their swift action.

 

Perit André Pizzuto
President

 

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CIR 02/22 | Water Services Corporation Online Portal

 

The Council has been informed that the Water Services Corporation has launched an online portal to deal with requests for clearance in relation to permit conditions. Such clearances would be used to support requests for compliance certificates from the Planning Authority.

The portal, which makes use of the e-ID login, requests from periti the uploading of a standalone scanned copy of the permit perit’s signature and that of another perit or warranted engineer, where applicable.

This is clearly unacceptable for several reasons which require little to no explaining to those who possess a basic understanding of the liability and security risk implications such a system poses.

Periti are hereby advised not to utilise this portal, until it is redesigned to eliminate such risk implications.

 

Perit André Pizzuto
President

 

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CIR 17/20 | World Architecture Day 2020 – Towards a Better Urban Future

Dear Perit,

Today, the Kamra tal-Periti joins its European and global counterparts in celebrating World Architecture Day, which this year is based on the theme “Towards a Better Urban Future”.

In 1986, the International Union of Architects (UIA) established World Architecture Day to coincide with World Habitat Day, with the aim to draw the attention of professionals and the public to issues concerning cities and housing. This year’s celebration comes amidst the global coronavirus pandemic which has caused us all to make changes to our lifestyles, and has compelled us to question many of our ways, not least our urban environment and the design of our buildings, and how these support and impact our quality of life.

This year’s theme brings to the fore a number of issues that are relevant to our current reality. Most schools will be reopening today, welcoming our younger generations to a new reality which will take some time to adapt to. Many of our elderly are isolated in care homes, while others are left wondering how often they can see and embrace their grandchildren now that these are returning to their school benches. Various offices have resorted to teleworking practices in an effort to contain the spread of the virus and to protect their staff, while other workers who do not have the option to work from home face daily struggles to ensure their own safety and that of their families. All of these activities take place in buildings and urban spaces, designed and created by architects, engineers, and planners, whose responsibility in shaping our future is crucial – for indeed it is a responsibility, and a privilege, to be able to contribute to the future of our country in such a lasting manner.

This Day cannot, therefore, go by without a reflection on how our profession is contributing towards a better urban environment. Are we being of service to society, seeking the common good, or are we serving other masters for more immediate benefits? This brings to mind the seminal Encyclical Laudato Sí, penned by Pope Francis five years ago, where he stated that “If architecture reflects the spirit of an age, our megastructures and drab apartment blocks express the spirit of globalized technology, where a constant flood of new products coexists with a tedious monotony. Let us refuse to resign ourselves to this, and continue to wonder about the purpose and meaning of everything. Otherwise we would simply legitimate the present situation and need new forms of escapism to help us endure the emptiness.

How are we going to rise to the challenge to help our communities recover and rebuild? How are we going to ensure that what we design today is adaptable to future realities, while keeping the persons who inhabit our buildings and use our spaces at the centre of our design ethos? Are we ready to safeguard our common home in an effort to ensure the resilience of our future generations?

This is not just a lofty ideal. This is a duty, and a commitment we must all acknowledge.

Yours sincerely,

Simone Vella Lenicker
President

 

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CIR 16/20 | Various Updates

Through this Circular, the Council of the Kamra tal-Periti would like to bring to your attention a number of matters, as follows:

1. Call for Court Experts

The Courts of Justice are in the process of renewing the list of architects and civil engineers that may be nominated as experts by the Courts. The Kamra tal-Periti invites those periti who are interested in providing their services to submit their details by no later than the 5th October 2020 at this link.

 

2. Periti Warranting Board

As reported by the Kamra on 23rd September 2020, the Electoral Commission notifies that it has duly received 2 (two) nominations from periti interested in sitting on the Periti Warranting Board, namely:

 

Grech Alfred    404054M         6, Triq San Pawl, Attard

Zammit Ivan    120475M         ‘Rivendell’, 81, Triq San Mikiel, Zurrieq

 

All periti are entitled to vote in a secret ballot for not more that one candidate.  Voting will take place on Friday 2nd October 2020, between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm (uninterruptedly) at the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Blk A – Boardroom, Francesco Buonamici Street, Floriana.

To vote, every perit must present his/her ID Card or another official photo identity document.  The voter must mark a cross (X) in the box on the ballot paper next to the name of not more than one (1) candidate. Counting of votes shall take place immediately upon closure of the poll.

 

3. Legal Notice 374 of 2020 – Amendment to Sanitary Regulations

Through the coming into force of Legal Notice 374 of 2020, the minimum clear internal height of parking levels is now 2.10m.

 

4. Legal Notice 375 of 2020 – Amendment to Regularisation Regulations

Regulation 7 regarding the expiry date and increase in fees for the Regularisation Regulations has been repealed with immediate effect through Legal Notice 375 of 2020. This means that the cut-off date has been removed, and the fees will not be increasing as previously established.

 

5. Notification re membership expiry

A number of periti have received automated messages from our website regarding membership expiry. We are looking into the matter with our IT support. Kindly note that membership ends on 31st December of each year. You can verify the status of your membership by logging into your profile on the website.

The automated email is meant to serve as a reminder to periti to plan for their renewal, as well as to inform them about the 20% discount for those who renew before 31st January. We are working on correcting the automated message and apologise for any inconvenience.

 

6. Premises for rent

The premises of the Malta Federation of Professional Associations (MFPA), of which the Kamra tal-Periti is a member, includes a shop which is currently vacant.

 

The area of the shop is circa 40 sqm.  It comprises one large front room overlooking the main road,  and a second room comprising toilet with shower. This shop is air conditioned. The premises can also be leased as an office/clinic but this can be discussed with the interested party/ parties. The rent for the first 2 years is €15/day.  Rent will increase to €17/day for the following two years and to €20/day for the fifth year.  Agreement  will be for 5 years, with one year notice to end or continue the lease agreement.

Any interested persons are requested to contact the Federation on 99471287 or via email info@mfpa.org.mt.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

Simone Vella Lenicker
President

 

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PR 08/20 | A Modern Building and Construction Regulation Framework

Verżjoni bil-Malti

In May 2019, the Kamra tal-Periti had published its draft proposals for A Modern Building and Construction Regulation Framework. These were presented to all industry stakeholders, including the Chamber of Engineers, the Chamber of Commerce, the Building Industry Consultative Council, the Building Regulation Board, the Building Regulation Office, the Building and Construction Agency, the Planning Authority, the Malta Developers Association, and the Malta Insurers Association. All these entities and organisations endorsed the Kamra’s proposals and there is therefore industry-wide consensus that such proposals are both necessary and desirable.

The proposals were also presented to the European Commission and the Opposition, as well as to Government which, through a Letter of Commitment issued in August 2019, finally recognised the need for a comprehensive reform of the building and construction industry, and committed itself to implement the Kamra’s proposals.

After having taken on board all the feedback received over the past 12 months, the Kamra tal-Periti has now published the final version of its proposals. These are focused around ten main principles, namely:

  1. The separation of planning permit and building permit processes;
  2. Clear well-organised regulatory processes designed to promote public safety and quality, in the interest of the consumer, rather than being focused on ascribing blame post-accident;
  3. Clear distinction between the regulations governing building (the permanent works) and those governing construction processes and temporary works;
  4. The proposed Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is to take on the consolidated role of the assessment of buildings, building authorisations, enforcement, and monitoring of the construction processes, with the 22 public entities hitherto entrusted with the different areas of interest, becoming key stakeholders in the drafting of regulations and guidance documents;
  5. Major projects and public buildings to be subjected to an independent review, particularly in terms of structural design and fire engineering through the introduction of a new professional figure (Engineering Auditor);
  6. Contractors are to have the specific skills required, and to be classified and licensed according to such skills – they will be solely responsible for the process of construction, including temporary works, and would therefore have full possession of construction sites for the duration of the works;
  7. The enforcement of construction regulations to be delegated to private service providers – referred to as Building and Construction Inspectors (BCIs) – licensed by the BCA;
  8. Contractors to be required to certify that the executed works comply with the design instructions, and with the requirements of the Construction Products Directive;
  9. The construction phase will be concluded by the issuance by the BCA of a Compliance Certificate, which, inter alia, authorises that the building can be brought into use; and
  10. Post-occupancy checks and audits to be undertaken as predetermined by the BCA to ensure the continued compliance of the structure with building regulations.

The launch of these proposals is not the end of a process. It is the beginning of a new era in the building and construction industry. COVID-19 has highlighted the lack of sustainability of our previous ways – now is the perfect opportunity to look to the future with a new vision … a vision that is more sustainable, that still focuses on economic progress but that places more emphasis on safety and quality.

 

The Kamra tal-Periti is fully committed to ensure that these proposals are implemented and assures Government of its full cooperation in achieving this leap forward, bringing the industry firmly and squarely into the 21st century.

 

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CIR 06/20 | COVID-19 – What is the Kamra doing? // Update 4

I would like to start off by thanking each and every one of you for your constant support and feedback. We understand that many of you are facing very challenging times, and that part of your frustrations are fuelled by the element of uncertainty as to what is to be expected in the near future.

On our part, we have been working incessantly to ensure that the interests of the profession and our clients, and the safety of all those who work on construction sites are safeguarded. Our efforts during the past few days have focussed primarily on three aspects, namely:

  1. Weathering the storm to save businesses and jobs
  2. Planning Commission meetings and processes
  3. Building regulations and construction sites

Below please find a detailed outline of progress achieved to date.

1. Weathering the storm to save businesses and jobs

The Kamra tal-Periti has been having practically daily meetings with the Chamber of Advocates, the Kunsill Notarili ta’ Malta, the Dental Association of Malta, and the Malta Institute of Accountants over the past two weeks. As representatives of these regulated professions we have come together to submit proposals for an economic recovery package to Government, which focuses on all sectors of the economy, including of course our sector as a whole.

The package is based on two main fronts. Firstly, it proposes a phased approach, targeting the immediate period up to July, following which it will focus on the recovery period up to April next year with incisive and tailor-made economic remodelling, and beyond then the measures proposed will be aimed at relaunching businesses to begin thriving again following what will undoubtedly be a downturn in the economy.

The second front is based on the principles of burden-sharing, wherein Government, the business community, employees and the banks come together to collectively take the country forward in a healthy and sustainable manner. In the immediate period, the focus must be on job retention – businesses have invested in their people, who they consider as part of the family and who are tuned in to the ethos of the company, and therefore the focus must be on ensuring that employees are retained on the payroll for as long as possible. Beyond that, it is imperative to ensure that we can weather the storm together, with a focus on the general well-being of all of society.

In order to achieve this, measures must be targeted along two streams, namely facilitating business operations through cost reductions, flexibility in working conditions, cash flow measures, and lending facilities, and on the other hand bolstering the liveability of employees through targeted measures to reduce their cost of living at this critical moment and to ensure that their needs are adequately catered for.

The Chambers and Associations mentioned above presented an initial proposal to Government last Friday, which was followed up with a detailed proposal backed up by market research last Monday. We are currently awaiting notice for a meeting wherein these proposals can be presented to Government in detail.

While at this point we cannot provide further detail, nor can we give any guarantees, we assure you that we are doing everything within our power to ensure that our representations are heeded. On this point, the Council thanks you for participating in the surveys that have been sent out, since these allow us to keep tabs on the situation and to reinforce our discussions with Government.

We hope to be able to update you on this matter in the coming days.

2. Planning Commission meetings and processes

As already outlined in Circular 05/2020, Planning Commission hearings were cancelled last week following recommendations by the Superintendent of Public Health to exercise social distancing and cancel non-essential meetings. The Authority, however, intends to proceed with Board and Commission hearings.

In view of this, Council submitted a protocol to be followed for the resumption of hearings, including the use of videoconferencing technology, which will ensure this can be done without exposing periti and their clients. We are confident that our proposals will be taken on board, and reiterate our commitment to ensure that the processes to be adopted will be implemented smoothly and efficiently, and that the health and safety of all involved is ensured. In addition to this, discussions are also ongoing regarding certain planning processes in view of the current situation.

We expect announcements to be made soon in this respect.

3. Building regulations and construction sites

On Wednesday afternoon, a meeting was held with the Building Industry Technical Committee set up by the Prime Minister. The public consultation document A Modern Building and Construction Regulation Framework for Malta prepared by the Kamra tal-Periti and endorsed by its Extraordinary General Meeting of 2019, and which was also endorsed by all the main stakeholders in the industry following a consultation process carried out by the Council, was presented to the Committee in detail. We understand that the Committee is meeting with other stakeholders and will be making its recommendations to the Prime Minister shortly.

The Council has also presented to Government its proposals with regard to construction sites in view of the current coronavirus crisis. The concerns raised are focussed on the processes that need to be in place in the eventual possibility of a lockdown, and also the safety precautions to be taken on construction sites and inspections of properties specifically for periti in the interim period. A meeting has been requested with the Building and Construction Agency, the Planning Authority and the Superintendent of Public Health. Again, we will update you accordingly once a position is agreed to.

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for you to keep in touch with us via email on info@kamratalperiti.org, Facebook Messenger, and the Periti Discussion Group on Facebook.

Meanwhile, we will continue focussing all of our attention on ensuring that we pull through the current crisis together.

Perit Simone Vella Lenicker
President

 

Video: Eric Bartolo

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CIR 05/20 | COVID-19 Planning Commission Hearings // Update 3

As you are aware, Planning Commission hearings were cancelled last week following recommendations by the Superintendent of Public Health to exercise social distancing and cancel non-essential meetings. However, over the weekend periti and applicants began receiving notifications that hearings were to take place this week.

The Council immediately sought clarifications from Government, particularly in view of the fact that LN 75 of 2020 prohibited the hearings from proceeding. Discussions were held with Minister Aaron Farrugia and with the Planning Authority about the reasons why such a decision was taken, given the risks to periti and their clients.

Council submitted a protocol to be followed for the resumption of hearings, including the use of videoconferencing technology, which will ensure this can be done without exposing periti and their clients. The Kamra’s proposals are being actively considered by Minister Farrugia and the Planning Authority. Meanwhile it is noted that the prohibition imposed by LN 75 of 2020 has now been lifted through the coming into force of LN 97 of 2020.

The Council is confident that its proposals will be taken on board, and reiterates its commitment to ensure that the processes to be adopted will be implemented smoothly and efficiently, and that the health and safety of all involved is ensured.

 

Perit Simone Vella Lenicker
President

 

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PR 32/19 | ODZ is a misnomer

Verżjoni bil-Malti

Just three weeks ago, the Planning Authority embarked on a ‘consultation’ process wherein it invited members of the public to comment on whether the scope of the current Rural Policy Design Guidance (RPDG 14) has had its intended effect. An effective consultation would require, as a basic premise, an understanding of the intent of those who drafted the original policy, and a thorough assessment of the actual effects of the current policy prepared by the Authority itself. In the absence of publicly available data and statistics this current consultation process is inherently flawed.

The three-week consultation period allowed makes a mockery of the term “public consultation”, especially when considering the vast implications that this policy has on our quality of life, and on the sensitivity of our natural environment. It is also unclear what this current consultation is attempting to achieve, since it appears to be more focussed on asking the public’s opinion on whether the RPDG has worked or not, and whether it should be aligned with the Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED) and the National Rural Development Programme, as though this were an option up for debate. It is therefore important that Phase 2 of the review process consists of the establishment of the overarching Objectives and Scope, and a consultation process undertaken on such Objectives and Scope, prior to delving into the detail of the Policy itself.

Nevertheless, a review of the RPDG (2014) is clearly urgent and needed; however, more benefit would be derived if the amended policy is aligned with an updated SPED, which is itself up for review within the next 12 months. The two processes must run in parallel, while maintaining the current premise of the SPED that the “Maltese landscape is a cultural landscape, and the surviving structures show its continued use, and are testimony of the country’s past”. A revised policy for our rural areas should base its principles on the realisation that our rural environment has an intrinsic value which exceeds its monetary worth at any one moment.

The term “Outside Development Zone” is a misnomer and should be abolished. It implies that no development activity may be carried out in such Zones, however it is a fact that legitimate development is necessary to maintain the character of our rural areas, and to accommodate uses that cannot be located within built-up areas. The construction of a rubble wall is development; the construction of a farm is development; the quarrying of rock is development; the dumping of waste is development.

Thus, rather than defining our territory in terms of “Development Zones” and “Outside Development Zones”, it is recommended to adopt two broad categories, namely Urban Areas and Rural Areas, in addition to the Coastal and Marine Areas. These should in turn be further classified to hone into more specific urban and rural typologies, allowing the formulation of more focussed policies which would recognise the distinctive characters, identities, and the activities taking place within such classifications (such as Countryside, Rural Conservation Areas, Agricultural Areas and Green Belts).

Villages and hamlets have for decades been designated as Urban Areas. This is incorrect. Villages form an integral part of rural landscape and identity. The urbanisation of rural settlements has brought about an exasperating urban sprawl, the effects of which can be witnessed through the out-of-control air pollution and exponentially problematic traffic generation.

Any type of development in the Rural Area should be of a design, quality and scale that respects the rural setting. The RPDG already requires that any “proposed development is of high quality rural design and must respect the rural context.” High quality contemporary architecture by its very nature should be responsive to its context, be it urban or rural. It would not otherwise be of high quality. Many of civilisation’s highest architectural achievements are found in natural contexts. The interplay between built and natural forms and materials provides for far more exhilarating cultural expression than false vernacular architecture. It is pertinent to point out that vernacular buildings were built at a time when rural construction was crafted by artisans making best use of locally available materials and tools to address the most basic needs of shelter and utility. They are indeed an important part of our cultural heritage and are best respected by not being mocked or falsified.

Furthermore, the Maltese Islands are in dire need of a Landscape Strategy for the Rural Area, which is site specific and which is studied to the extent that it takes a holistic view of this important asset which our country has, rather than adopting the all too common piecemeal approach which is entirely dependent on the whims of certain developers.

The positive effects that the natural environment has on addressing climate change, air and water quality, biodiversity, social well-being, and to national and local identity must be translated into effective planning policy. Our rural areas need to be safeguarded to ensure a sustainable future for our islands. The rural setting is as important, culturally, economically and socially as are our urban centres, our built cultural heritage, and our natural resources, and must be recognised and treated as such.

 

 

CIR 16/19 | CTBs and Regularisation

Dear Colleagues,

In March 2019, the Kamra tal-Periti submitted a complaint to the Commissioner for Environment and Planning within the Office of the Ombudsman regarding PA Circular 4/12. Following is a summary of the situation to date, and the Kamra’s guidance to periti.

 

Background and Ombudsman’s decision

PA Circular 4/12 states that when an application for development permission is submitted on a site which is covered by a CTB concession, then the irregularity “needs to either be sanctioned or removed, prior to any processing of the application.  If the illegal development cannot be sanctioned, a regularisation application would need to have been submitted and approved prior to the planning application being confirmed as complete.

The Kamra tal-Periti requested the Ombudsman’s office to investigate this matter, outlining its opinion that holders of CTB concessions for minor irregularities were facing serious risks on their investment unless the Planning Authority changed its interpretation of the law. Banks that have taken such properties as security against mortgages are also at risk in case of default, as the value of such properties may be much lower than expected as a result.

In a decision delivered on the 7th May 2019, the Ombudsman’s Office concluded that the above quoted paragraph from the Authority’s Circular “is found to be unfair, irregular and against the principles of natural justice” and ordered the Planning Authority to “withdraw and cancel this part of the Circular to the effect that a new application can be submitted on a site covered by a CTB concession without the need for sanctioning, regularising or removing the illegal works covered by the same CTB concession, as long as no further illegal development has taken place on site.

 

Latest developments

Despite the passage of several months from such decision, the Circular has not been amended or withdrawn, leaving periti and their clients in a quandary as to how to proceed in such cases.  The Kamra tal-Periti sought clarification from the Ombudsman’s office and from the Planning Authority in the past weeks.

In response to such queries, the Ombudsman wrote to the Planning Authority in August, quoting a statement by the Authority in its response of the 21 May 2019 that “the Authority understands and agrees that applicants requesting development of a site covered by a CTB should not have their application stalled cause of illegalities indicated in the relative concession.

The Ombudsman noted that “As this statement contrasts drastically with the contents of the same Circular that is still in vigore  … and since the implementation of the same recommendation through a correcting circular is taking too long on such an important issue that affects the multitude, you are hereby urged to finalise this correcting circular whilst the Kamra tal-Periti is also being copied so that the Periti are directed in line with the Final Opinion recommendations.“

In a reply dated 4th September 2019, the Planning Authority stated that it “does not understand that further clarifications were meant to be issued further to its communication dated 21st may 2019, also because the requested clarification transpires from the Law itself through the application of the proviso to sub-regulation 14(1) of the Legal Notice 514 of 2010 read in conjunction with sub-regulation 1(3)(d) of Legal Notice 162 of 2016.

The Ombudsman responded on the 10th September 2019, stating that “Following the comments in your letter dated 4 September 2019 it appears that the Authority is not taking any action in line with my recommendations within a reasonable time and hence the provisions of sub-article 22(4) of the Ombudsman Act will apply.

Sub-article 22(4) of the Ombudsman Act states that “If within a reasonable time after the report is made no action is taken which seems to the Ombudsman to be adequate and appropriate, the Ombudsman, in his discretion, after considering the comments (if any) made by or on behalf of any department, organisation or local council affected, may send a copy of the report and recommendations to the Prime Minister, and may thereafter make such report to the House of Representatives on the matter as he thinks fit.

In response to an additional follow up email from the Kamra tal-Periti, the Ombudsman confirmed, on the 3rd October 2019, that “Following the final opinion the understanding was that this Office would not need to come to this, but this Office is committed to follow the whole procedure afforded by law in the circumstances, that is in order through the Minister concerned, the Prime Minister and publicly in front of the House of Representatives if need be.“

 

Guidance for periti

Although the matter has not yet been concluded, the Council of the Kamra tal-Periti felt it would be opportune to issue this Circular, outlining the current state of affairs, in order to provide guidance to periti and their clients on the situation as it stands. Periti are invited to quote this Circular and the Ombudsman’s decisions in their proceedings with the Planning Authority and the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal where necessary.

 

Note

All Directives and Circulars are being sent to all periti who are on the Kamra’s database. If you meet colleagues who are not receiving such communications, kindly ask them to send an email to buildingregs@kamratalperiti.org so that the records can be updated.

 

Perit Simone Vella Lenicker
President

 

CIR 15/19 | New Forms for use prior to commencement of works or utilisation of planning permit

Dear Colleagues,

Following the coming into force of Legal Notice 136 of 2019, the Building Regulation Office had published a set of Forms to administer the requirements imposed by said Legal Notice.

Several meetings and discussions ensued regarding various changes to the Forms, including the Kamra’s proposal to completely separate the planning process from the construction process by amending the Commencement Notice that is required to be submitted to the Planning Authority to contain only that information which is relevant to the planning process, and the rest of the information relating to the construction process being amalgamated within the BRO Forms.

Following the establishment of the new Building and Construction Agency in August 2019, further discussions took place, and we can finally announce that the Forms are being amended today.

 

Main changes

The main changes to the Forms are outlined below.

1. Works that do not affect third parties

Whenever works do not affect third parties, and are therefore not subject to the provisions of Legal Notice 136 of 2019, the Form titled Commencement Notice – for use when works do not affect third parties is to be submitted. This replaces the current Commencement Notice required by the Planning Authority, and has been amended to require only the details of the Developer, the Licensed Mason (where applicable) and the Site Manager appointed in terms of Legal Notice 295 of 2007 (where applicable).

The Perit in Charge is to state reasons to justify situations when either a Licensed Mason or a Site Manager (or both) is/are not required for the works in hand.

This Form is to be used ONLY where the works do not affect third parties, and therefore in the following situations:

  • Works that do not qualify under Regulation 4 of Legal Notice 136 of 2019, in which case the Form titled Declaration that Works Do Not fall Under the Scope of Legal Notice 136 of 2019 must also be submitted;
  • Works that fall under Regulation 26 of Legal Notice 136 of 2019, in which case the Form titled Declaration in Terms of Regulation 26 must also be submitted;
  • Regularisation permits.

In such cases, the relevant Forms are to be submitted at least five days prior to the commencement of works or utilisation of permit.

 

2. Works that affect third parties and fall under the provisions of Legal Notice 136 of 2019

Whenever works fall under the provisions of Legal Notice 136 of 2019 as defined in Regulation 4 thereof, the Form titled Commencement Notice / Site Management Responsibility Form is to be submitted. This is a combined Form for use by both the Planning Authority and the Building and Construction Agency, and requires the submission of details of all the persons required on the site, as per the relevant legislation.

The Perit in Charge is to state reasons to justify situations when either a Licensed Mason or a Site Manager (or both) is/are not required for the works in hand.

In such cases, the relevant Forms are to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the commencement of works or utilisation of permit.

 

3. Requests for exemptions under Regulation 25 of Legal Notice 136 of 2019

Regulation 25 empowers the Director of the Building Regulation Office to ˝issue appropriate orders according to the requirements and nature of the particular site“. Forms 25A, 25B and 25C were developed to standardise certain requests for exemptions from the requirements of the Legal Notice.

The following is to be noted:

  • Form 25A is being repealed;
  • Form 25B is to be used in all cases which fall under the definitions in Regulation 4, and where a request for exemption from the appointment of a Site Technical Officer is being made – this Form cannot be used if the works include excavation or demolition;
  • Form 25C is to be used only in the case of emergency works, including works permitted under the Dangerous Structures procedure.

Any other requests for exemptions from any provisions of Legal Notice 136 of 2019 that are not coverd by Forms 25B and 25C are to be submitted in the form of a letter, signed by the Perit in Charge, accompanied by a declaration signed by the Developer stating:

I, …., ID No …, in my capacity as developer for the works approved under PA…, hereby declare that I have requested Perit … to submit a request for exemption from the requirements of Legal Notice 136 of 2019. I further declare that I am aware of the responsibilities pertaining to the undersigned in terms of the Legal Notice 136 of 2019, and that I have acknowledged the submission and content of the said request for exemption.

 

In such cases, the relevant Forms are to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the commencement of works or utilisation of permit.

 

4. General notes

  1. All the Forms except the one described in Section (1) above (Commencement Notice – for use when works do not affect third parties) are to be submitted through the Avoidance of Damage tab on eApps. Failure to follow this requirement will mean that the system will not notify the Building and Construction Agency. The Form titled Commencement Notice – for use when works do not affect third parties is to be submitted through the Commencement Notice tab on eApps, and will only be notified to the Planning Authority.
  2. Where the works fall under the provisions of Legal Notice 136 of 2019, the Site Management Responsibility Summary Form must always be submitted.
  3. Whenever there is a change in the person assuming any of the roles detailed in the Forms, the Change of Responsibility Form is to be submitted.
  4. Whenever there is a change in any of the details of a person assuming any of the roles detailed in the Forms (eg. change in address, etc), the Site Management Responsibility Form – Update is to be submitted.
  5. It is to be noted that where the Licensed Mason is assuming the role of Mason as required by the Code of Police Laws AND the role of Contractor as defined in the Civil Code and in other relevant legislation, such person is sign the relevant sections assigned in the Forms to the Mason AND to the Contractor accordingly.

 

 

Transition period

The Kamra tal-Periti, the Building and Construction Agency, and the Planning Authority have reached agreement on the following:

  • Any Forms submitted prior to the 1st November 2019 will be considered as valid, unless they are not compliant with the relevant requirements;
  • Until the 30th November 2019, the Planning Authority and the Building and Construction Agency shall accept the submission of the old versions of the Forms, in an effort to avoid having to obtain all signatures if these have already been obtained in the past days or weeks – Periti are nevertheless advised that it is recommended to use the new Forms whenever possible during this transition period;
  • The old Forms will no longer be accessible on the Planning Authority website as from the 1st November 2019;
  • Form 25A shall be repealed as from the 1st November 2019, and no such requests shall be entertained thereafter.

 

Additional notes

Various amendments to the text of the Forms have been effected. It is not the scope of this Circular to go into the detail of such amendments, and the rationale behind them. Periti are advised to read the new content of the Forms carefully before signing off, and to advise their Clients and other persons required to sign the Forms to do the same.

The Kamra tal-Periti remains available to provide clarifications on specific queries by Periti, and encourages all its members to submit any feedback on the new Forms accordingly.

It is intended to continue discussions with the Building and Construction Agency regarding the templates for Condition Reports and Method Statements that are currently downloadable from the Planning Authority website. Any suggestions from Periti in this regard are most welcome.

Note

All Directives and Circulars are being sent to all periti who are on the Kamra’s database. If you meet colleagues who are not receiving such communications, kindly ask them to send an email to buildingregs@kamratalperiti.org so that the records can be updated.

 

Perit Simone Vella Lenicker
President