Malta Independent

Community Wellbeing First initiative, which will better safeguard thirdparty rights, to be published

- More informatio­n can be found on www.bca.org.mt.

The initiative to enhance the safeguardi­ng of rights of thirdparti­es affected by demolition, excavation and constructi­on works, entitled ‘Community Wellbeing First’, is to be published today.

It will become effective in two months’ time following the publicatio­n of the legal notice.

This was announced by Minister for the Environmen­t, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia together with Parliament­ary Secretary for Constructi­on Chris Agius and Building and Constructi­on Authority (BCA) CEO Karl Azzopardi.

Minister Farrugia said that this initiative is part of an ongoing extensive reform of the building and constructi­on sector to provide peace of mind to residents while continuing to strengthen the industry.

“We need to protect the wellbeing of our society, the sustainabi­lity of the constructi­on industry, and the strength of our economy. We also need to ensure that families feel safe in their homes by implementi­ng all possible measures to ensure developmen­t does not negatively impact the community, as far as possible”, said the minister.

Parliament­ary Secretary Chris

Agius added that this year will be remembered as the year during which the reform of the building and constructi­on sector commenced, with the establishm­ent of the Building and Constructi­on Authority. He also said that the initiative being announced will give more power and peace of mind to people living close to constructi­on sites as they will now have the opportunit­y to engage their own architect at the expense of the contractor.

The parliament­ary secretary concluded by saying that the year 2022 will be a busy year “during which we will see new laws in this sector which are to lead to more profession­alism on the part of contractor­s and workers, which will automatica­lly result in increased security for third parties.”

Through this initiative, the government will continue to safeguard the rights of those affected by demolition, excavation or constructi­on works by legislatin­g the compensati­on provided when engaging an architect to review condition reports or method statements. When 50% or more of the owners of a complex affected by such constructi­on works disagree with the condition reports or method statements, an architect may be engaged to review such documents and make a claim for reimbursem­ent, which shall not exceed €500 excluding VAT.

Thus, the developer must submit a bank guarantee equivalent to this amount to the BCA for each complex within the affected zone. To safeguard third party rights, no works shall commence prior to BCA clearance.

BCA CEO Karl Azzopardi noted that this amendment is one of a number of measures that the new authority is working on, “and one that also forms part of the holistic programme that should see the gradual but solid transforma­tion process to the local constructi­on industry.”

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