One of the key pillars of the MEPA reform is the establishment of a higher level of consistency within MEPA’s operations and decision-making processes. Numerous measures are being adopted with the aim of achieving this objective, including the setting up of an ad hoc Policy Reform Commission, which will report on policies which were either obsolete, conflicting or no longer practical.
In its report, the Policy Reform Commission outlined the fact, that there is often no distinction between legislative measures, policy procedures and administration. Taking this into account, the Commission recommended that the process needs to be streamlined, making a clear distinction between legislation, policy and procedure.
It also recommended the establishment of a defined list of planning documents, which would clearly set out what each document should contain and who is responsible for its implementation. According to the Commission, establishing a clearly defined list of planning documents and their related responsibilities, will help to ensure that less confusion arises. Therefore, the likelihood of misinterpretation is significantly reduced.
The Policy Reform Commission has also been given the responsibility of looking into the possibility of extending the scope of Development Notification Orders (DNOs). This exercise should prove beneficial for both MEPA as well as applicants, as it should speed up the application assessment process itself.