Development briefs will start to be discussed and decided in open public meetings, MEPA announced today, saying the measure was being taken to further restore public confidence in its commitment to higher levels of transparency and public participation.

The development brief that will be the first to be decided in public will be that for the area known as Il-Ghirghien in Birzebbugia. The public meeting, which will be held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta next Thursday.

It will enable interested parties and the public to participate prior to a decision that will be taken by the MEPA board. This Brief, as required by the Development Planning Act (1992), encourages an integrated planning approach of future development in this area. The recommended development direction, as guided by the Marsaxlokk Bay Local Plan is to integrate residential, social and community facilities with open spaces and recreational land.

MEPA Chairman Mr Austin Walker described this decision as "another small step forward to reassure the public that MEPA would continue to explore avenues that would guarantee greater levels of transparency and public participation.

"We want to win back public trust and remain determined to ensure that this Authority will improve in the areas of participation, efficiency and transparency."

Those wishing to attend may call the Authority on telephone number 22902018 to reserve a seat.

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