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‘Give councils the power to issue permits’

The developer’s association said it was time to look into the possibility of local councils issuing permits covering minor changes in existing buildings.

The MDA asked whether there could be a self-regulatory system with architects taking responsibility for development and where conditions of development “are clear enough and without any equivocations”.

These could make processing development applications more efficient, it said, referring to a recent World Bank report showing that in Malta it took an average 237 days to obtain a permit in a process involving 11 procedures and a cost equivalent to 234.9 per cent of the island’s income per capita.

The findings, it added, confirmed the association’s complaints that planning tariffs were “exaggeratedly high” and that the planning authority had been caught up in an un­necessary bureaucratic tangle that only served to waste time.

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