Another way of investing in our land other than encouraging planned and purposeful development is mitigating illegal land development. The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) has taken a stance against illegal development in Malta that is proving to be highly effective.
During January and February of this year, 185 cases of illegal land development were successfully addressed. MEPA CEO Johann Buttigieg explained to the media how rather than merely issuing enforcement notices that tend to stand alone and ignored, the authority is inviting positive action through adopting a self-compliance approach.
Other than being three times as cost effective for the authority, Mr Buttigieg stated that individuals are more likely to take the chance that is given to them when they are approached to rectify their illegality. Those who are approached on the basis of illegal development are given a six month time frame within which to come in line. In the case that this is not done, the authority would then move on to take further measures and those who would eventually face an enforcement notice would also face tough consequences.
Cases of illegal development are being addressed in order of priority – those that are deemed to be more harmful to the general well-being of the environment such as scrapyards, dumping and open plots are being tackled first. MEPA continues to address several cases week after week in its efforts to minimise and rectify illegalities.