Din l-Art Ħelwa notes with satisfaction that the Planning Authority has reversed a previous decision to prevent the publication of information on applications for major projects until the completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment, or until the relative documentation was deemed to be complete.
The decision of the Planning Authority to withhold this information from the public realm was considered by Din l-Art Ħelwa as by other NGOs to be an unreasonable and significant impact on the transparency which should infuse the whole planning process. Planning decisions are intrinsically difficult, but it must be understood that they are made in the name of the community, and it is therefore only right that the community has a full understanding of the proposal, as early as possible, before any decisions are taken.
The reversal by the Planning Authority is seen as an important step towards acknowledging that the stakeholders in the development permitting process are not only the applicants and developers, but include the members of the community who will actually carry the burden of decisions taken by the Planning Authority.
Din l-Art Ħelwa augurs that this change in attitude is not a flash in the pan, but will herald a change of attitude by the various decision-taking committees, within the Planning Authority, towards the members of the community, including NGO’s, who raise objections, or have reservations, about specific proposals.
17 October 2020