Practice Areas:

Development Planning Law

Development Planning is intended to be formulated on yesterday’s principles to accommodate tomorrow’s planning necessities. Development Planning goes beyond planning applications intended to bring forward development for the regulatory authority’s approval.

Whilst many believe that Development Planning is technical in its nature, many fail to understand the legal nexus which embraces such technicalities. As a matter of fact, technical and legal development planning principles are formulated by legal instruments whilst interpreted and decided upon by bodies regulated by law. Contestations on any decision taken in relation to any development planning matter or planning application is contested before Tribunals and/or Courts of Law.

Development Planning is not only regulated by primary and subsidiary legislation, but it is highly regulated by numerous other instruments of soft law, including policy documents and circulars. For this reason, it is essential that development planning is interpreted even in the light of legal principles which regulate it and in line with recent Court Judgements which might shed more light on the interpretation of development planning principles as they may become applicable by time. As a matter of fact, Development Planning is not something static and must continuously adapt to the context of events. For this reason, one must keep in mind that a correct interpretation of the principles and laws of development planning is dependent on the knowledge and history of development planning in Malta against current legal and technical interventions.

Issues of Development Planning include matters related to enforcement action in relation to illegal development, scheduling of property and planning applications, which include amongst others development planning applications to sanction and/or propose development, regularisation of development, dangerous structures applications and development notification orders.