The extensive MEPA Reform that is currently underway has not lost any of its momentum. Concrete action is being taken in a bid to ensure that the Malta Environment and Planning Authority becomes more efficient, consistent, accountable and transparent. OUTLOOK takes a look at the upcoming developments that form part of the changes taking place within the Authority.
The MEPA reform has been an ongoing and very extensive project that was specifically designed to ensure that MEPA is more efficient, consistent, accountable and transparent. However, while a great number of changes have been implemented, the Authority is still actively initiating new practices and measures to further improve the interface between itself and the public. In the coming weeks the Authority will be making available for the public to view online all recently submitted planning application documents.
Under the old system, certain planning applications documents were available to the public but made available only by visiting MEPA’s offices in Floriana. Now, a new system will shortly be implemented whereby any member of the public can view planning application documents online, through the MEPA ‘s eApplications system.
The only requirement is an internet connection and an e-ID registration, which can be obtained by any Maltese citizen and is an easy, straightforward procedure. All details of the proposed development will be included in the online version of the planning application document, enabling interested parties to analyse the proposed development in detail, ensuring a more transparent and efficient service offering by MEPA.
It is not just the planning application documents that will be made available electronically. Any correspondence regarding the planning application document will also be uploaded on the MEPA website and will be viewable by the public, including all correspondence between MEPA and its consultees, proposed plans of elevations and sections and any objections that are registered against the proposed development. Nonetheless, members of the public who wish to register their objection to any part of the proposed development can still do so anonymously, although their representation will still be made public.
While the increased accessibility to planning application documents registered with MEPA is an important step in the overall reform of the Authority, there are also a number of other developments that are currently underway, such as regular meetings with stakeholders, continuous upgrades to MEPA’ IT system.
Furthermore, as part of the reform process, the Authority also plans to organise a meeting with Gozitan stakeholders in the near future, with the aim of ensuring that clear and transparent communication channels are maintained, enabling MEPA to take Gozitan stakeholders’ needs into full consideration throughout the reform process.