Times of Malta, 21st June 2008

Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA) has welcomed the appointment of a new Mepa chairman saying it hoped that the speedy implementation of Mepa reform will enable him to ensure a level playing field for both developers and residents, consistency in decisions and sustainable planning for Malta’s future needs.

However, the environmental lobby group failed to understand how a decision as important as the Mistra high-rise development could have been taken just prior to the takeover of the new chairman and to the imminent Mepa reform.

The decision to allow the building of high-rise blocks on the Mistra ridge violates not only the Local Plan, it claimed, but also the Floor Area Ratio eight-floor limit.

FAA said Malta cannot afford to continue ignoring basic planning parameters such as population densities, supply of vacant housing, EU energy efficiency directives and the state of transport facilities in favour of “short-sighted, fast-buck decisions”.