Developers want breathing space over hiked penalties for not providing parking spaces

The new penalties for building apartments without providing parking spaces reflect the market price of garages

The Malta Developers Association has demanded a transition period over a decision by the Planning Authority to increase the penalties for developers who do not provide enough parking places as laid down by planning rules.

Developers who do not provide enough parking slots when increasing the number of residential units on a street have to pay a compensatory contribution to the Commuters Parking Provision Scheme (CPPS).

“These contributions are being levied indiscriminately – even when sites do not allow for parking areas, such as sites where rock excavation is not allowed for heritage reasons, restricted sites and sites with levels that are very near mean sea level. In these cases, the decision not to provide parking is motivated by circumstances beyond the developer’s control and therefore contributions for lack of parking provision should take this fact into consideration,” the MDA said in a statement.

The Planning Authority has said the new rates better reflect the market value of garage spaces, across the island, and are much higher for larger developments. A three-tier rate system is being introduced, whereby a one car space not provided for on-site will cost the developer €2,500. From the second to the eighth car space not provided for on site, the developer will have to make a contribution of €6,000 per car space. From the ninth car space upwards a €9,000 contribution per car space will be imposed.

The old contribution system, established in the 1990s, used a model which differentiated between ‘CPPS’ localities and those that were part of the Urban Improvement Fund (UIF) system.

A developer who did not provide parking on site within a CPPS area, except for Mosta and St Paul’s Bay, had to make a contribution of €2,096 per car space. If in Mosta or St Paul’s Bay the contribution would be of €1,863 and €1,164 respectively. Within localities which were part of the UIF system, a developer was requested to pay €1,164 per car space.

The Planning Authority is going to use money it collects from developers to support green transport.

The MDA accused the PA of having never used the funds for the purpose they were collected, that is the provision of public parking spaces in the areas where there is an evident need for them. “This failure on the part of the Planning Authority should be addressed immediately. MDA appeals to the Planning Authority and to the Minister concerned to allow for a transitory period before these new levies are charged so that developers who have made commitments through existing agreements with property owners are given the chance to apply for development and be charged at the old rates.”