The strategic plan for development and planning, SPED, on which planning boards make decisions, will be revised in a six-week consultation process which started today and which will also include the revision of the national strategy for the environment for the next 30 years.
Environment, Planning and Climate Change Minister Aaron Farrugia stated there is agreement between all partners including the authorities concerned for decisions relating to development not to continue to be decided only on economic benefits but on environment issues and quality of life.
“The environment, the economy and the social sector will be on the same level, which means a project or policy will not be considered solely on the gross domestic product, but also on the environment around us and on the quality of life we want to have,” Minister Farrugia stated.
SPED is considered the ‘bible’ for planning in Malta as it includes, among others, the local plans and masterplans which guide the Planning Authority in its decisions on development.
The Environment Minister added that these new strategies will define the Malta of tomorrow, and through these, he will not be looking at five-year electoral cycles but rather, with responsibility towards future generations, so much so that the new strategy for the environment is a vision covering the next 30 years, split up into ten-year cycles. The Minister explained that this strategy will take various aspects into consideration, including trends on demography, waste and the economy.
Environment and Resources Authority Chief Executive Michelle Piccinino said a recent survey commissioned by the ERA showed that over half of the population have expressed a wish to see changes in safeguarding the environment.
The Executive Chairperson of the Planning Authority, Architect Martin Saliba, stated that the SPED revision is an awaited exercise which will give clearer guidelines to the Authority in decisions it will continue to make in the coming years.