Development and Planning Law is a major dynamic legal field which requires thorough regulation in order to ensure the equal protection of the rights and interests of developers and the public in general whilst safeguarding the environment.
The Environment and Development Planning Act (Chapter 504 of the Laws of Malta) together with other Regulations, Planning Policies, Guidelines, and Circulars to architects which are issued under the authority of the latter Act, regulate the area of Development Planning meticulously. The competent authority in this area is the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA), which was set up by Act 365 of 1992. One of the vital functions of MEPA is the processing and the issuing of permits which are invariably required for any property development and which range from procedures for minor changes to applications for full developments.
Development and Planning Law imposes a number of obligations on applicants. It also affords, however, a number of rights, such as the right to request reconsideration and the right of appeal against a refusal of an application for property development. Rights are equally granted to third parties who may wish to contest a development permit or a request thereof, the contestation of which may be made before the Courts of Justice or the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal.
We assist various clients in connection with Planning Law issues – which are at the heart of the ever-growing real estate scene in Malta. Our legal team has also contributed significantly in issues relating to land reclamation, in that it has consulted the Government of Malta on the International Land Reclamation initiative.
The legal services provided by the Firm in this area vary from legal advise to consultation, such as:
- Submission of development permission applications and the subsequent follow-up of pending applications;
- Submission, representation and procedures before the Planning Authority, the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal and the Courts of Justice;
- Submission of objections against a proposed or an existing development;
- Submission of requests for reconsideration, submission of appeals to the Tribunal, and submission of appeals to the Court of Appeal
In order to provide the best possible advise, our legal team at Lex Group strive to keep abreast with the legal developments in this continuous and ever-evolving legal regime.