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Planning al fresco platform? Restaurants must cough up €4,192 for each parking space lost

Owners of demountable platforms erected to host al fresco diners will be expected to pay a “planning gain” amounting to twice the contribution they pay now for taking up parking spaces

james
James Debono
10 August 2017, 12:15pm
15 applications for outside chairs and tables have been presented by establishments in Sliema in 2016 and the first half of 2017
15 applications for outside chairs and tables have been presented by establishments in Sliema in 2016 and the first half of 2017
Owners of demountable platforms erected to host al fresco diners will be expected to pay a “planning gain” amounting to twice the contribution they pay now for taking up parking spaces.

Establishments granted a permit to put up demountable platforms in Sliema and Valletta will now be charged €4,192 for each parking space they occupy.  

Demountable platforms erected along pavements have mushroomed in Gzira, Sliema, Valletta and other locations following the approval a policy that allows restaurants to take up parking spaces as long as they allow a 1.5-metre passage for pedestrians.

The policy has been criticised by local councils for taking up parking spaces.

The PA already charges a contribution on the loss of parking spaces for any development, which is approved through its Urban Improvement Fund or the Commuted Parking Payment Scheme. In Sliema and Valletta this already amounts to €2,096 for each parking space taken. In localities like Rabat the contribution to the Urban Improvement Fund amounts to €1,165 for each parking space lost.

Funds raised from these schemes are used to fund traffic management, green transport, urban improvements or similar projects. 

But according to the latest circular issued to all architects in Malta the planning gain in cases of restaurants with outside tables will be twice the amount due for each parking loss. 

The PA is justifying this saying that establishments with al fresco tables will be charged both for the removal of the existing parking space itself and also to make up for the additional parking generation. 

The contribution for each space is to reflect the planning contribution which applies for the area. 

15 applications for outside chairs and tables have been presented by establishments in Sliema in 2016 and the first half of 2017. Seven applications were presented in Marsaskala in the same period. 

Most of the applications involve the erection of a “demountable platform” on spaces previously used for parking. 

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...
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