In making a decision on an application for permission for Strategic Housing Development (SHD), one of the matters that the Board is required to consider is the report of the relevant planning authority on the proposed development. The report includes the authority’s opinion on the proposed development, a recommendation on whether to grant or refuse permission and the views of the elected members on the proposed development as expressed at a meeting of the Area Committee or Municipal District, where such a meeting has taken place.
Other matters to which the Board has to have regard in making its decision include the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, the development plan, including any relevant local area plan, any submissions or observations received, as well as any relevant Ministerial or Government policies, including any guidelines issued by my Department. In this regard, master plans do not have a formal status analogous to statutory development plans or Local Area Plans.
Planning authorities play a key role in the determination of SHD applications. The pre-application stage of SHD requires the prospective applicant to consult, in the first instance, with the relevant planning authority prior to consulting with the Board. In addition, the Board requires the planning authority’s written opinion on the proposed development in advance of its pre-application consultation with the prospective applicant, and the planning authority’s attendance at any such consultations.