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'Irrestawra Darek' €8 million scheme taken up completely ahead of schedule

Sliema, Haz-Zebbug and Valletta were the top three localities to apply for a scheme allowing new house owners to receive refunds for works on property in urban conservation areas

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
27 March 2017, 10:13am
The Irrestawra Darek scheme applies for older buildings in Urban Conservation Areas and Grade 1 and 2 scheduled buildings
The Irrestawra Darek scheme applies for older buildings in Urban Conservation Areas and Grade 1 and 2 scheduled buildings
The €8 million budgeted for the Irrestawra Darek scheme have been taken up completely, ten weeks after it was launched in January, the Planning Authority's executive chairman Johann Buttigieg said on Monday. 

Buttigieg, who was addressing a press conference with parliamentary secretary Deborah Schembri, said that 855 applications had been received, 326 of which were from first-time buyers. 

The scheme was being funded through money recuperated from the regularisation scheme, through which €3.5 million have already been received, with bills for a further €4.5 million issued. 

The scheme applies for older buildings in Urban Conservation Areas (UCAs) and Grade 1 and 2 scheduled buildings.

Schembri said the scheme had been taken up ahead of schedule because, unlike some others, it was relatively easy to implement, also thanks to the PA's trained staff who were able to guide applicants through the process. 

"I welcome the fact that the scheme has been funded through money collected in the regularisation scheme, instead of the PA channelling the money into its accounts," she said. 

Joe Magro Conti, head of the Heritage Planning Unit, said that Grade 1 and 2 scheduled buildings were eligible for 70% of the expenses, up to €100,000, with other buildings only eligible for a maximum of €10,000. 

He said that a focused media campaign had attracted the interest of many home owners. The Chamber of Architects had also warmly welcomed the scheme. 

There were 64 applications for buildings in Sliema, 48 in Zebbug, 46 in Valletta, 44 in Zejtun and 40 in Birkirkara. 

Works under the scheme are to be completed by 30 September 2019.

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...
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