AbstractIn Malta, the introduction of the Structure Plan followed a period of haphazard development which was perceived as ruining the characteristics of the island; the aim of the thesis is to determine whether the Structure Plan policies, in effect since 1992, have protected the natural environment in Malta.
In 1988, the island was divided into two zones, one in which development was permissible under Temporary Provision Schemes and the remaining much larger area, commonly known as “Outside Development Zone”. The study focused mostly on the latter area, and analysed through the use of development control data, the pressures which were exerted on the natural environment. This it did through the use of different methodologies, adapted from the work of several authors, who worked on the British planning system. Application, decision and enforcement data together with cartographic analyses and direct observations of decision boards were used in the study.
The study demonstrated that Outside Development Zone was subjected to significant development pressure. The major cause of the development was policy breaches at decision level, which were not found to be restricted to any particular decision board. Most policy breaches occurred when granting permission to develop; refusals mainly being in line with policy. The agricultural and the dwellings group of developments were those which benefited most from such policy breaches.
The results showed that Structure Plan policies had a positive effect on the decision-making process Outside Development Zone, only when the decision boards applied these policies correctly. However, over time, the performance of decision boards has improved.
It is recommended that changes in the legislation occur to introduce a requirement whereby a decision (grant / refusal) should be accompanied by detailed reasons based on policy, thus limiting abuses. In addition, there is scope for additional studies focusing on the application of the only Local Plan in effect in Malta and on the effects on the environment of the less common development types.
|Date of Award||08 Aug 2002|
|Supervisor||Alan James Bond (Supervisor)|