Malta’s rural policy could be set for a significant revision after the Planning Authority announced a wholesale review, with a public consultation set to be issued.
Be prepared to wait, however, with a revision to the fuel station policy taking two years to complete. Planning Minister Ian Borg even described the current waiting time as “unacceptable” in a recent interview with Lovin Malta.
The rural policy, which regulates building outside the development zone (ODZ), has had a positive effect on agricultural but has left gaping loopholes for speculation on green land.
Roofless and long-abandoned countryside ruins were suddenly transformed into villas, on the condition that the structures served as dwelling in the past. Before this, buildings could only be converted if they were in a “sound structural condition”.
The loopholes have been controversially used in a myriad of cases, most recently with a Joseph Portelli development in Gozo.
The review will look at the effect the current policy has had while alwso identifying which provisions might be “outdated, confusing or require clarification”.
The policy will also be amended to meet the objectives set out in Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development and the National Rural Development Programme.