Interesting article on the Times of Malta by Perit Michael Falzon, Honorary President of the Malta Developers Association.

Friday, February 23rd, 2018


MDA favours strengthening of the law for better protection against fire hazards

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

The Malta Developers Association welcomes in the most positive manner the news announced by Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg that laws on protection against fires in buildings are to be consolidated as part of the reform in the construction sector.

As the Minister rightly said, the law on security against fires in buildings is currently sporadic and fragmented, and the MDA feels that this reform, which will enable the law to be strengthened in this area, is urgently needed.

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older news


The Malta Developers Association refers to the notice outlining the objectives of a proposed review of the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) issued by MEPA for public consultation.
MDA is disappointed at the way the document was formulated because, contrary to what it purports to do, many objectives that justify the application of a FAR policy are conspicuous by their absence while the document includes details of policies that should result form a proper assessment of objectives.

The document suggests restrictions with which MDA does not agree and that, in any case, should have been formulated as part of the policies themselves and not at this stage when only the objectives of the review of FAR is being suggested. Eliminating certain possibilities that could be justified and make sense in particular circumstances even before the policies are reviewed is illogical and counter-productive.
Among these arbitrary restrictions that the document seeks to impose without the proper consideration of the issues that they raise, MDA points out:
1. The necessity that sites must be surrounded by streets from all sides to be eligible for FAR.
2. The outright and automatic elimination of applying FAR in any part of Gozo.
3. The imposition of a minimum ‘open space’ of 50% of the site area, whatever the circumstances.

The MDA would have expected a statement of objectives to give a clear indication, through the use of graphics, if necessary, of the types of urban environments (in different locations) that the Government would like to see attained through the application of a well thought out FAR policy and the way it would like the property markets to function. Furthermore, one has to ensure that policies are designed in manners that render the substantial financial risks taken by developers worth their while. In other words, it would be pointless for a policy statement to be made if the viability of the operations of the affected service providers (in this case, the developers) is of little or no consideration. The document does not give any indication of this and simply issues a framework policy which does not appear to have been studied in depth.
For the past weeks MDA has been preparing a serious proposal on the review of FAR because it believes tat such a policy can lead to greater design quality and more public open spaces in urban zones.
We are therefore submitting this document at this stage so that the discussion on the review of the FAR policy can be carried out without any arbitrary pre-conditions imposed even before such a discussion takes place.

Michael Falzon
Malta Developers Association

MDA_FAR 260913


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