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Development Notification Order Information

What is the DNO?
The Development Notification Order (DNO) is a legal notice that exempts a range of generally minor developments from full development permit application procedures, if these satisfy certain criteria. A simplified notification process, which nevertheless still takes into account mandatory safeguards and policy requirements, may apply vis-à-vis some developments, whereas other interventions may not require any such notification at all.

DNO notification procedure
A DNO notification to MEPA requires the following:
• a site location plan;
• plans/sections/elevations explaining the proposed interventions, using conventional colours where modifications to an existing building are involved (3 copies);
• 2 good-quality colour photographs representative of the site; and
• the correct building levy (as established in the Building Levy Rates Regulations and reproduced in this document).
• All notifications to the Authority should be made by a qualified Perit.

The notification will only be treated as validly submitted once all the above requirements have been duly fulfilled. Once validated, MEPA will respond in writing within 30 days, also returning endorsed copies of the submitted plans, clearly stating whether works are permitted or not. Provided that all applicable provisions are duly satisfied, development is deemed permitted if the Authority does not reply within 30 days from valid notification.

Any resulting permit is valid for one year from official endorsement or deemed approval, and works must be carried out according to approved plans.
If the terms of the legal notice or mandatory policies are infringed, or if case officer is misled by incorrect/incomplete/equivocal information, or if works do not reflect the approved development, then the Authority may still stop works or take further action. This also applies if development is carried out after permit expiry.

General exclusions applicable to all Classes of permitted development:
No development is permitted by the Development Notification Order if:
1. It runs counter to approved policies, plans, legislation or policy guidance, or is not correctly and completely indicated in any submission to MEPA.
2. It is contrary to, or would circumvent, conditions/limitations of a permit/clearance/licence issued under Development Planning Act or Environment Protection Act.
3. Works are carried out after expiry of clearance or after repeal/relevant amendment of the legal notice permitting them.
4. There is illegal development that cannot be sanctioned under the DNO.
5. It requires/involves formation, laying out, material widening, expansion, extension or re-engineering of means of access to a road [Not relevant to Class 3 development].
6. It involves direct access from an arterial road, or creates obstruction/distraction to persons using a vehicular road, causing likely danger to such persons.
7. It requires an environmental impact assessment or an environment planning statement, a traffic impact statement, or any other assessment or report required by the Act or any other legislation.
8. Any works connected with the development involve or entail the demolition of, or direct or indirect damage to:
    (a) any wall constructed in random rubble (sejjieħ) or random uniform rubble (laqx);
    (b) any dry-stone huts (giren and similar structures) or any other structures protected under the Environment Protection Act;
    (c) underground infrastructure;
    (d) caves; 
    (e) fossiliferous or infilled fissures (dagħbien);
    (f) archaeological features;
    (g) historic buildings, underground shelters, or other built or rock-cut historic structures;
    (h) cisterns or water galleries.
    (i) It involves the destruction, uprooting or damage to existing trees.

Fees payable in accordance with Building Levy Rates Regulations LN 356/10:
Development Notification Orders  (Alterations)- EUR 60.00
Development Notification Orders  (Extensions/New Development) -EUR 120.00
Unless as indicated in the ‘fee” column in the table below, any DNO notification will be charged the minimum fee of EUR 60.00


Development classes 

Class 1 Alterations to existing buildings and development within the curtilage of buildings

Class 2 Minor operations

Class 3 Formation, laying out, alteration or improvement of roads (by Government agencies, Local councils or other entities appointed thereby)

Class 4 Minor infrastructural development

Class 5 Development related to public utility services 

Class 6 Development related to public transport

Class 7 Development related to telecommunications

Class 8 Development related to agriculture

Class 9  Temporary placing of machinery for development operations

Class 10 Temporary use of land

Class 11 Development related to aviation

Class 12 Lighting of buildings, structures and roads

Class 13 Mineral & geological exploration/surveying and environmental monitoring

Class 14 Placing of tables and chairs

Class 15 Tented structures

Class 16 Beach management facilities 

Class 17 Development related to Malta Industrial Parks Ltd. (MIP) Industrial Zones