Adrian Delia: Development should serve a purpose

PN leadership candidate Adrian Delia argues that permits for development should be issued based on the bigger purpose the buildings will serve

Adrian Delia (file photo)
Adrian Delia (file photo)

Applications for development permits should not be approved based on who the applicant is but authorities should ensure that the development serves a purpose.

Addressing a press conference in busy Sliema, PN leadership hopeful Adrian Delia said development should reflect the needs of society.

“Authorities must start seeing what society really needs, be it schools, social accommodation, hospitals and so on. It is true that construction turns the wheels of the economy but we risk facing a number of empty buildings in the future,” Delia said.

He argued that planning should hold a long-term vision. Delia conceded that construction was one way of strengthening domestic economy, but warned that it could also backfire as a result of vacant properties.

“Planning should serve a purpose and a long-term vision,” he said.

Delia said that whilst the country was experiencing economic growth, in truth, this was being created by the business community: “The government plans and the businesses work. But we cannot ignore the fact that this growth has its side effects on people.”

Delia said traffic congestion was chief amongst these problems, complaining that people’s plans are always derailed due to traffic whilst reminding of the negative implications on people’s health .

“It is impossible to plan,” he said, as he once again apologized for the delay in the press conference, which was scheduled at 9am but started half an hour later.

“We have permanent traffic jams and no one is talking about. Why aren’t we talking about solutions? Traffic is not a perception, bust a daily frustration which is also costing our economy.”

He went on to suggest that the bigger localities should all hold underground car parks, which can be easily embellished with rooftop gardens and in turn create open spaces.

Delia also argued that businesses which win public tenders should be incentivized in planning with an environment conscience, by making use of alternative energy, recycled products and so forth.

Malta, he added, should become a carbon neutral country.

Delia went on to question whether the MEPA demerger – which separated the planning from the environment arm – was really serving the purpose of protection the environment.