One size fits all


I have heard from reliable sources that government through MEPA is considering doing away with all seven Local Plans and substituting them with just three.

The Local Plans currently in effect are the following : Marsaxlokk Bay (1995), Grand Harbour (2002), North West (2006), Central Malta (2006), North Harbour (2006), South Malta (2006),  Gozo and Comino (2006).

The Structure Plan had envisaged the preparation of 24 Local Plans as well as Plans covering Rural Conservation Areas.

The Local Plans mentioned in the Structure Plan were the following :

1. Valletta/Floriana

2. The Three Cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua

3. Sliema, Gzira, and Ta’ Xbiex

4. St. Julians, San Gwann, and Pembroke

5. Msida, Pieta, and Gwardamangia

6. Marsa, Qormi, Hamrun, and Santa Venera

7. Birkirkara and the Three Villages of Lija, Balzan, and Attard

8. Paola, Tarxien, and Santa Lucia

9. Kalkara, Rinella, and Xghajra

10. Zabbar and Fgura

11. Luqa, Gudja, Ghaxaq, Mqabba, Kirkop, and Qrendi

12. Marsaxlokk Bay and its vicinity including Marsaxlokk and Birzebbugia

13. Zejtun, Marsascala, and St. Thomas Bay

14. Zurrieq and Safi

15. Siggiewi and Zebbug

16. Rabat, Mdina, and Dingli

17. Mosta, Naxxar, Gharghur, and Burmarrad

18. St. Paul’s Bay, Bugibba, Qawra, and Mellieha

19. Victoria and Fontana

20. Qala, Ghajnsielem, and Mgarr

21. Xaghra and Nadur

22. Xewkija and Sannat

23. Kercem, San Lawrenz, Munxar, and Xlendi

24. Gharb, Ghasri, Zebbug, and Marsalforn

It is clear that the proposal in the Structure Plan, which was not adhered to, intended the micro-managing of development through having the proposed Local Plans focusing on a relatively small area. The resulting policies would have been site specific and not of a general nature. Unfortunately this was not done as the only Local Plan which covers a small area is that related to Marsaxlokk Bay.

It defeats the purpose for which Local Plans are intended if they cover a large area.  By their very nature Local Plans are intended to cover a small area and consequently to address the potential development in such areas through appropriate policies which may need to be and generally are specific to the area. The policies adopted for one area are not necessarily applicable to another. Hence the need for “local” plans

The revision of the Local Plans is the ideal opportunity to get things done right.

But will they?

6 comments on “One size fits all

  1. What Local Plans?? You must be joking! Isn’t it all a question of ‘winner takes all’?
    Or rather ‘anything goes for who can pay’.?
    Our (once but no longer) homeland has been totally usurped for good.

    • I don’t know whether you have followed the debate on the subject for the last 21 years. The PN in government inherited a planning mess, and left matters in a worse state. Labour is committed to having the construction industry as an important element of our economy. Hence expect worse.

  2. Thanks for your elucidation. Very appreciated.
    I am glad we are on the same wavelength although on a very pitiful situation.
    May I add that perhaps I differ on certain misnomers:
    ONE… forget what you term as ‘construction industry’ …. there is no such industry it’s only a matter of ‘CONSTRUCTION MARKET’
    TWO: there are no ‘developers’ (zviluppaturi) only ‘speculators’ (spekulaturi).
    Let’s stop hiding behind names, my friend!

  3. You may well remember the case of the Etvan project in Marsaskala in which you had taken personal interest and objected with MEPA… This project was governed by the South Local Plan prohibiting it from exceeding a certain height level and also ensured that a public roof-top garden was constructed over it.
    It has been 3 years since this site was excavated and Marsaskala has been left with nothing but a huge hole and no roof-top garden!
    Are we to understand that the ‘new’ Local Plans might favour the developer – hence why the project has stopped?
    Moreover, in view that there’s a public interest (the roof-top garden), does the developer have the right to not proceed with construction works?
    Thanks… and may I take this opportunity to tell you how I enjoy following your blogs!

  4. Hey! What about Comino? What with rumours going around, does this mean that there are no restrictions to building on it?

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