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Revision of Local Plans needs to start & cannot be delayed

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Revision of Local Plans needs to start & cannot be delayedThe process for the revision of all the local plans is a priority which needs to start and cannot get delayed any further the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) said in reaction to a statement issued by a number of NGOs yesterday.

MEPA pointed out that as opposed to previous public consultation exercises, whereby a six week period was generally set, the process for the revision of the local plans started off with a three month long public participation exercise. “This exercise, through which the public can highlight any shortcomings that exist in the current local plans, is over and above the public consultation process the Authority is required to carry out by law.”

From experience, the Authority can confirm that during the summer months public participation in similar initiatives was far from being poor.

The Authority said it believes that prior to it proposing any amendments to the policies or maps of the existing seven local plans, it is healthier and more productive for society, including local councils and the public, to be engaged in the process from the outset.

The Authority intends creating planning policies that are tailored to achieve a sustainable balance between the wide range of citizens’ aspirations. “This goal can only be reached if the Authority gives the public the chance to actively get involved in the entire process.”

Over the coming weeks, the Authority sad it is meeting up with every local council and is also organizing a series of public and stakeholder meetings. Following this initial phase the Authority will compile new proposed policies which will be issued, once again, for further public consultation.

The Authority said it is “surprised that a number of NGOs are requesting for this process to get postponed when over the past years they have been calling for the Authority to revise the local plans which they claim are ‘laden with mistakes.’ Now the NGOs have every opportunity to highlight their claims.”

MEPA said it encourages the public and all stakeholders to use this initial public participation phase to identify any shortcomings that exist in the current local plans and propose new ideas which will better the quality of our lives, and the places in which we live in. The Authority believes that society will be worse off if it allows things to stagnate and not revise these local plans.

The Gozo and Comino plan is avaliable to view here. There will be a public meeting for residents that fall under the localities of the Gozo and Comino plan on Thursday, the 25th of July, starting at 6.00pm, at the Gozo College, Victoria Boys Secondary School, The localities are – Ghajnsielem, Gharb, Ghasri, Kercem, Munxar, Xlendi, Nadur, Qala, Victoria, San Lawrenz, Sannat, Xaghra, Xewkija, Zebbug (Gozo), Marsalforn and Fontana.

The public is also being invited to submit comments and suggestions by sending an email on LP2013@mepa.org.mt or subit it online here or send it in by post at LP2013, Local Plans, St. Francis Ravelin, Floriana by not later than the 30th of September 2013.

For further information the public can also telephone 2290 1027 during office hours.

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