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Public Meetings At Planning Authority On Development Applications Will Take Place Online Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

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The Planning Authority will continue conducting their public meetings to decide on crucial applications online or any other viable means of communication,

“Public health takes precedence over all other priorities. To this end, the Planning Authority will soon re-start Planning Board and Planning Commission public meetings using video conferencing, this following the publication of a legal notice which has amended the way public meetings are to be conducted.”

In another set of measures, the PA had also decided to extend all development permits by three years, as a “proactive measure” that will prevent developers for rushing through their projects once restrictions are lifted.

On Monday, Planning Minister Aaron Farrugia had announced that all Planning Board and Planning Commission meetings were cancelled following an outcry from NGOs that they would continue, despite the threat of a major of COVID-19 outbreak.

Last week, an application to sanction illegal excavation in Qawra for a project by controversial Gozitan developer Joseph Portelli, the construction of a 14-storey tower in Ta’ Xbiex and the construction of an 18-storey tower as part of the MIDI project in Tigne were scheduled to be heard before the board.

Under the new system an applicant, Perit, registered interested party and any member of the public will, at the discretion of the Chairperson, be allowed to make submissions related to the case the board or commission online.

Any member of the public who wishes to participate in the meeting has to notify the board at least one working day before the date of the meeting.

There are currently no government-imposed restrictions on the construction industry.

The construction industry has been under the microscope ever since the fatal collapse of a home neighbouring an excavation site in Hamrun claimed the life of Miriam Pace. Six people were arrested. No one has been charged.

There are now 139 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Malta. Local transmission continues to grow.

READ NEXT: Malta Amends Lockdown Rules, Elderly And Chronically Ill Can Now Leave Home To Buy Groceries, Medicine And Other Necessities

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