New PA website a step backward in transparency

Press Release 24.07.2017
Front Harsien ODZ is calling on the Planning Authority to immediately reinstate the facility to search for all pending ODZ applications in each locality of Malta and Gozo and the facility to search all pending planning enforcements in each locality of Malta and Gozo.
Earlier versions of the website always included the facility to search pending applications and enforcements by locality and by designations like Urban Conservation Areas and developments proposed Outside Development Zones.
“In this way, Local Councils, NGOs and the general public are being deprived of a valuable tool to scrutinize all pending applications including those presented in the past and those which have still not been published in the government gazette but which have been given a PA number.”
Although the present website still gives viewers the opportunity to view applications published in the government gazette each Wednesday, the present website is deprived of the facility to search all pending application in each locality and to do so by ODZ or UCA designation.
Moreover past website also gave viewers the opportunity to search applications by street or location as an alternative to the geo-server where the viewer has to have clear knowledge of the exact geographic location of a development.
Front Harsien ODZ described the latest changes to the PA website as a step backwards in terms of transparency and is calling on the PA to immediately reintroduce the features which have been removed from the new website.
“One of the few positive things of the PA has been its transparency in providing information on pending applications.  The new website is a big step backward and an insult to people’s intelligence and betrays the expectations of a modern democratic society.”
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