Recommendations not implemented: unfair treatment by the Planning Authority in the processing of a minor amendment

 

In terms of Article 22(4) of the Ombudsman Act, the Ombudsman Mr Anthony C. Mifsud and the Commissioner for Environment and Planning, Perit Alan Saliba, have sent to the House of Representatives the Final Opinion in relation to an allegation of unfair treatment by the Planning Authority in the processing of a minor amendment on a development in Sliema.

Case Summary

The Commissioner for Environment and Planning was asked to investigate a complaint against the Planning Authority for approving a minor amendment on a development without making it available to the public even though it affects third parties.

The Commissioner sustained the allegations of unfair treatment by the Planning Authority in the approval of this minor amendment since the extension in question infringes subsidiary legislation 552.13. The Commissioner concluded that this application should not have been accepted as a minor amendment and should have been processed through a full application and published, thus allowing for the submission of representations.

The Commissioner recommended that the Planning Authority should process similar minor amendments in strict accordance with law and whenever minor amendments extend beyond the building boundaries the applicants should be referred to seek a full development permission.

As the Planning Authority did not implement the Commissioner’s recommendations, the Case was referred to the Prime Minister in September 2021. Since no action has been taken, the Ombudsman and the Commissioner sent the report to the attention of the House of Representatives.

Documents:

Final Opinion

Letter to PA Executive Chairman

Letter to Prime Minister

Letter to Speaker of the House

Media Releases