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Time-frame for ODZ public consultation too short – DLH

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Time-frame for ODZ public consultation too short - DLHDin l-Art Helwa has requested the Malta and Environment Planning Authority to extend its time-frames which give members of the public only one week to react and place submissions with regards to the objectives of the review of the Policy and Design Guidance announced two days ago by MEPA.

MEPA has asked the public to comment on the objectives of the ODZ policies review by the 16th of September

These will affect and relax current policies on Outside the Development Zone construction projects.

Din l-Art Helwa stated that the time proposed for submissions was far too short for a public consultation exercise of this nature ‘when the future of our countryside is at stake.’

The objectives of the review are:

1. to consolidate policies into one concise document;

2. to ensure a balance between the protection of the environment and development in areas Outside Development Zone (ODZ);

3. to improve upon the policies and simplify the planning process related to agriculture in order to assist the genuine farmer;

4. to encourage water conservation and to ensure the sustainable management of water resources;

5. to provide new opportunities for agriculture diversification by farm gate sales, visitor attractions and agro-tourism accommodation;

6. to redevelop/rehabilitate permitted buildings (including pre 1967 buildings) with the scope of eliminating the damaging visual intrusion on the rural scene;

7. to make good use of scheduled historic buildings Outside Development Zone.

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