Kamra Maltija Għall-Ippjanar (KMaP)
ECTP-CEU member since: Spring 2002
Amount of own members: 18
President: Bjorn Bonello
Delegate(s): Christopher Attard, René Attard, Anthony Ellul, Ian Galea, Dennis Kasap
Contacts: Triq Vilhena 9
Floriana FRN 1040
tel: 00356 79062137
Annual KMaP reports to ECTP-CEU
Malta’s projects presented by KMap to the ECTP-CEU European and Regional Planning Awards: /
Country Factsheet for Malta (.mt)
ECTP-CEU Study Profession qualification Recognition - Stage II document - Appendix 4 Draft Directory (2012-12-21)
General Country Information
Capital City Valletta
Area (km2) 316
Population Density 1410 per km2
EU Membership Malta joined what is now known as the EU in 2004.
Malta is a republic under a parliamentary system. The country is divided into five regions, with each region having its own Regional Committee, serving as the intermediate level between local government and national government. The regions comprise 68 local councils (kunsilli lokali). Following the Local Councils' Reform, Act No XVI of 2009, which amends the Local Councils Act, includes the new legislative amendments for the setting up of Administrative Committees for Communities which previously were "Hamlets".
Local councils are responsible for the general upkeep and embellishment of the locality (including repairs to non-arterial roads), and the allocation of local wardens. They also carry out general administrative duties for the central government such as collection of government rents and funds and answer government-related public inquiries. The spatial and urban planning matters are however the responsibility of the Planning Authority which currently (2021) falls under the responsibility of the Ministry for Environment, Climate Change and Planning.
Malta’s Ministry contacts:
Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning
MECP Head Office
6, Triq Ħal Qormi,
The Planning Authority is the competent authority responsible for land use planning in Malta under Development Act (2016) while the Environment and Resources Authority is the authority responsible for environmental regulation under the Environment Protection Act (2016).
Planning as a Regulated Profession in Malta
The planning profession is not yet recognised in Malta and therefore the culture, generally, is to seek the services of the engineering and architectural professions, and recently even lawyers, for any planning related assignments since current legislation stipulates that architects are the recognised profession to submit development applications. This profession is regulated by The Kamra tal-Periti, the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers of Malta. The Malta Chamber of Planners have been pushing various governments to regulate the planning profession since this would give a greater status to planning an to those qualified to practise such a profession. A draft law has also been submitted to the Minister concerned but not much progress has been achieved.
The common professional name is " Perit” (Architect) since the Planner is not recognised as a profession ".
EU Database Status:
The profession of “Town Planner/Town and Country Planner” is included in the EU Database of Regulated Professions, but the profession is not regulated in Malta.
Regional regulation: None.
Universities with approved trainings in Malta
The courses leading to the profession of a “Planner” are Third Level Degree in Planning.
The Department of Spatial Planning and Infrastructure, within the Faculty for Built Environment, University of Malta, has the remit to focus on sustainable planning and development, and on infrastructural issues of relevance to Malta, including urban and spatial planning, landscape planning, transport planning, water and mineral resources, solid and liquid waste management, geographic information systems applied to spatial planning, related public policies and EU legislation, and environmental impact assessments.
The courses which are specifically concerned with the field of spatial planning are several study-units in the Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Built Environment Studies, targeted sessions within the Master of Architecture (Architecture and Urban Design), and a Master of Science in Spatial Planning which is offered on a part-time basis. Students are encouraged to debate on issues of global contemporary relevance while understanding the cultural, political and institutional background which is influencing the practice of spatial planning in Malta. Theoretical grounding is therefore juxtaposed with insights into practical aspects of spatial planning such as participatory decision-making and post-colonial influences on plan-making. In line with the scope of the European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP), students are trained to practice spatial planning at local, regional, national, and transnational levels, entrusted with the formulation and realisation of plans and policies, which according to the European Regional/Spatial Planning Charter, give “…geographical expression to the economic, social, cultural and ecological policies of societies.”
The MSc course focuses on concepts which are connected to the development of a sustainable infrastructure and has been designed to equip the students with tools that ensure that proposals related to infrastructural developments are assessed to factor sustainability issues. This course has the potential to benefit both the private and public sector. Within the private sector it is envisaged that the learning outcomes would contribute towards better impact assessments of projects undertaken as well as to greening the design both from a construction perspective as well as from a process related one. The public sector has a great need for sustainable development professionals.
Example from “ECTP-CEU Draft Stage 2 Study on the Recognition of Planning Qualifications in Europe”:
Town Planning Press of Malta
Spatial planning documents are implemented at the national and local levels:
• The Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development
The Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED) or “Spatial Strategy” is a strategic document which regulates the sustainable management of land and sea resources covering the whole territory and territorial waters of the Maltese Islands. It sets out objectives in relation to the sustainable development and use of land and sea. This document is in the process of being reviewed and should be completed by mid-2023.
• The Subject Plan
The Subject Plan is a plan that deals with a specific development planning matter setting out policies in relation to the specific development planning matter in conformity with the Spatial Strategy; also including detailed specifications intended for its implementation.
• The Local Plan
The Local Plan is a plan that deals with the specific development planning requirements of an area where the rate of development or redevelopment cannot be satisfactorily managed or where special factors cannot be taken into account solely on the basis of the Spatial Strategy. It sets out detailed policies in relation to the development planning matters of the area in general conformity with the Spatial Strategy and where applicable, any subject plan.
• Parliament of the Republic, Planning Authority (PA), The Planning Board, Executive Council or Assembly, The Planning Commissions and the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND COMMUNICATION
Information, consultation and dialogue
The Planning Authority (PA) is the national agency responsible inter alia for the public participation in decision-making relating to planning and development matters. The PA receives comments and/or representations form the general public with regard to planning policy documents and development applications. With regard to the former, comments made during the public consultation are taken into account and where relevant are included in the amended documents. The amended version of such policy documents or plans are approved by the Planning Board and forwarded to the Minister responsible for planning for the final approval.
Malta implemented a Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to the Justice Council.
Public participation under Maltese planning law is implemented through the Development Planning Act (2016) and Legal Notice 162 (2016). It facilitates the participation of the public in decisions that affect planning and development matters.
Main Planning legislation
Development Planning Act, 2016 (ACT No. VII of 2016)
This Act regulates provision for sustainable planning and management of the spatial development and for the establishment of an authority with powers to that effect and for all associated matters.
Part II of this legislation under the section - Duty to promote a Comprehensive, Sustainable, Land Use Planning System, states the following:
It shall be the duty of the Government to enhance the quality of life for the benefit of the present and future generations, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, through a comprehensive sustainable land use planning system, and to that effect:
(a) To preserve, use and develop land and sea for this and future generations, whilst having full regard to environmental, social and economic needs;
(b) To ensure that national planning policies are unambiguous, accessible and clear to the general public;
(c) To deliver regular plans in accordance with the needs and exigencies;
(d) To identify regional planning shortcomings and address any problems found in relation thereto;
(e) To apply scientific and technical knowledge, resources and innovation for the effective promotion of development planning;
(f) To consider public values, costs, benefits, risks and uncertainties involved when taking any decisions.
Part III of this Act under section Establishment and Scope of the Authority, establishes the structure of the Planning Authority as follows:
(5) There is hereby established an authority, to be known as the Planning Authority, which shall consist of the Executive Council and the Planning Board.
In the Development Planning Act (2016), the Executive Council has been entrusted with important functions as stated in article 38 of this same Act, as reported hereunder.
38. (1) The functions of the Executive Council shall be the following:
(a) to provide a centralized office for the receipt and processing of development applications;
(b) to provide a centralized office for the receipt and processing of complaints, reports and assessment of information, related to alleged breaches of the provisions of this Act, and to co-ordinate investigations undertaken by the competent authorities whenever the Authority is of the opinion that a breach should be pursued by enforcement action or other remedies;
(c) to formulate, implement and update plans and policies relating to the promotion of proper land and sea use, both public and private; development planning of land and at sea, both public and private; and such other matters as may be necessary, ancillary, incidental or conducive to the better carrying out of the provisions of this Act, whilst taking into account the protection and management of the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources;
(d) to enforce the control of such development in accordance with plans, policies and permissions in terms of this Act;
(e) to carry out national mapping, including carrying out land surveys of specific areas and keeping up to date the national geographical database to undertake the functions mentioned in this sub-article;
(f) to regulate alignment and levelling schemes and their interpretation on site;
(g) to seek the co-operation of, or make arrangements with, other entities or persons to enable it to better monitor the implementation of, and compliance with, the provisions of this Act;
(h) to establish long and short term objectives and strategies for the proper administration of the Authority;
(i) to advise the Minister on the making of guidelines and regulations under this Act;
(j) to provide support and advisory services, relating to development planning on land and at sea in a sustainable manner, to Government and local authorities in relation to the performance of their functions;
(k) to undertake research and conduct consultations with Government departments, non-governmental organisations, private organisations and international organisations and other persons relating to the development of planning methods and models relating to development planning on land and at sea and any other related matters;
(l) to publish and update, as circumstances may warrant, an official manual, which shall be published and updated in electronic format or in any other format as it may deem necessary, containing such matters as the Minister may prescribe and which shall be made available to the public, provided that:
(i) no plan or policy or amendment thereto shall have effect unless it is approved in accordance with the provisions of this Act and published in the official manual;
(ii) a plan or policy or an amendment thereto, as the case may be, shall be published in the official manual within one month from the date of its approval in terms of this Act;
(m) to make orders under this Part of this Act;
(n) to issue technical guidance documents as may be required from time to time;
(o) to carry out any activity or function in relation to building regulations or building control regulations which may be assigned to it by means of regulations made by the Minister in accordance to the provisions of this Act;
(p) to appoint from time to time sub-committees for the purpose of compiling technical reports and, or identifying procedures to be adopted.
The Ministry for Environment, Climate Change and Planning: https://environment.gov.mt/en/Pages/mdsec%20main.aspx
Malta Chamber of Planners (MaCP): http://www.kmap.org.mt/
The Planning Authority: http://www.pa.org.mt/
The Environment Resources Authority : www.era.org.mt
Kamra tal Periti (Chamber of Architects & Civil Engineers): http://ktpmalta.org/
Government Legislation website of Malta: http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/