Own Initiative Investigation launched into stable permits by the Planning Authority

The Commissioner for Environment and Planning, Perit Alan Saliba, following consultation with the Ombudsman Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon, has initiated a comprehensive Own Initiative Investigation concerning permits issued for stables by the Planning Authority since the implementation of the Rural Policy and Design Guidance in 2014.

This proactive move aims to ensure that the process of issuing stable permits aligns with the guidelines and maintains integrity and transparency. The investigation will focus on several critical aspects to ascertain the adherence of the issued permits to the established policies and regulations.

Key Points of the Investigation

Verification of equine registration: The investigation will examine whether each stable permit correlates with a registered equine, ensuring that the facilities are utilised for their intended purpose.

Post-equine mortality measures: There will be an assessment of the steps taken by the Planning Authority when a registered equine, associated with a permitted stable, passes away to determine the subsequent use or modification of the stable.

Prevention of permit abuse: The inquiry will scrutinise the mechanisms in place to prevent the issuance of multiple permits for a single equine, especially in cases where the equine has multiple owners, to curb potential abuses in the permit process.

Ownership verification: A significant part of the investigation will focus on ensuring that permits are only granted to individuals who own equines, thereby preventing any misuse of the permitting system.

Consideration of local registrations: The Commissioner will also verify whether the Planning Authority prioritises local official equine registrations over foreign or non-local sources when issuing stable permits.

This initiative underscores the Office of the Ombudsman’s dedication in fostering accountability and transparency, ensuring that the Rural Policy and Design Guidelines are respected and meticulously followed.

Through this Own Initiative Investigation, the Office intends to make recommendations that will contribute to revising and enhancing the long-established rural policy.

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