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Consultation on review of rural policy ‘a waste of time’ – Din l-Art Ħelwa

Malta ODZ

Heritage organisation Din L-Art Ħelwa expressed its “strong objection” to the handling of the review of the rural policy by the Minister responsible for Planning, Ian Borg, saying it showed little understanding of its complexities.

The organisation pointed out that a public consultation on the objectives of this long-awaited review of the Rural Policy Design Guidance of 2014 was launched on 25 October, with a deadline of three weeks.

“Yesterday, however, Ian Borg announced that the draft policy was now already being drafted by a senior legal expert and would be ready within weeks,” the organisation said, adding that it was tacit confirmation that the ongoing consultation was a total waste of time for any person or organisation who thought they should take it seriously and participate.

Din l-Art Ħelwa also said it was surprised and concerned by the Minister’s announcement that he has entrusted the drafting of “this very important policy” to a legal expert.

“Din l-Art Ħelwa stresses that the drafting of such policies should be led from a planning perspective, and not narrowed down to a legalistic approach. The legal aspect is also integral to any planning policy, but this should not be the leading approach. The Minister has hereby demonstrated a very limited understanding of the complexities of this policy and of forward-planning in general.”

It was regrettable that unnecessary delays in the review process occurred, but it was important that such a policy was reviewed in a timely and considered manner or it would result in even more problems, the organisation said in a statement.

“The Rural Policy of 2014 has been a failure. Din l-Art Ħelwa is disappointed that, with the approach now being taken, its review only seems likely to compound the problems that this misguided policy has already caused.”

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