People living next door to construction sites will soon be able to request an architect’s report into those project’s method statements, with developers footing the cost. 

The idea, presented by the Malta Developers Association on Friday, is at the heart of a safer neighbourhood scheme proposed by the lobby group. 

In a statement, it said the initiative is aimed to give all adjacent property owners more peace of mind. Before a project begins, third parties next door to the site would be able to have a professional report on the method statement/condition report drawn up. 

The report will be drafted by an architect chosen by the third party, and the MDA developer will be obliged to refund the architect’s fee upon the presentation of a fiscal receipt. 

In cases where a third party cannot afford to pay the architect’s fee, the developer will give the third party the money upon the presentation of a fiscal invoice. 

MDA director general Marthese Portelli.MDA director general Marthese Portelli.

MDA president Sandro Chetcuti said that all developers who form part of the association will be adopting this scheme. Any members who refuse to refund costs will be blacklisted by the association, he added.  

“The MDA is committed to raise the bar of the industry towards its members. This initiative should help significantly in putting neighbours’ minds more at rest as now everyone can go to his perit of choice irrespective of his/her financial standing. We urge non-MDA developer members to follow suit and adopt this initiative too,” MDA director-general Marthese Portelli said. 

Concerns about unsafe construction practices have risen over the past year, prompted by a spate of building collapses believed to have been caused by demolition or excavation work happening next door. 

Last March, prime minister Robert Abela ordered excavation laws to be revised for the second time in less than a year after a woman, Miriam Pace, was buried alive in the rubble of her own collapsed home. That review has yet to see the light of day. 

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