Health projects planning system exemption ‘contravenes EU law’

Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar hits out at government for quietly amending a law to exempt any planning permit for any health related development in proximity of Mater Dei, St Luke's and Gozo General Hospital

An artist's impression of planned project for St Luke's Hospital
An artist's impression of planned project for St Luke's Hospital

Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar has come out strongly against a government decision exempting health projects from the planning system.

Through the measure, introduced by stealth through a legal notice issued in the absence of any public consultation on August 14 on the eve of a public holiday, hospital related development in the vicinity of Mater Dei, St Luke's and the Gozo General Hospital has been exempted from the need of seeking any planning permission, either through normal planning process or through a notification order. 

In a statement, the environment NGO said the government has opened gates for more environmental abuse by issuing legislation exempting hospitals from Environment Impact Assessments.

“It is incredible that our authorities think that such assessments are unnecessary bureaucracy to be put away. The should see EIA as a method to ensure that the best possible project is developed, while avoiding costly mistakes,” FAA said.

“In rushing through this legislation during the Santa Maria lull, the authorities have also contravened the EU legal obligation to carry out public consultation. This ‘Government that listens’ has once again shown that, not only is it not interested in listening to its own people, but it also ignores its own laws.”

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