A new government scheme would absolve abusers for infringements carried out outside development zones, the Green Party warned on Saturday. 

Addressing a press conference in front of the Planning Authority offices, ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said the amnesty rewards those who abused and penalises those who follow rules.

He asked why laws were being enacted and regulations were in place if people continue to find ways of circumventing them.

He was referring to a scheme which extends a 2016 amnesty to also include infringements outside the development zones. This scheme includes primarily partial developments without a permit in ODZ zones.

ADPD said the Labour Party had pledged to ensure that outside development zones (ODZ) would be safeguarded more than ever in its latest electoral manifesto. 

But the PL's message is now clear, Cacopardo said: "as long as you are willing to pay, you can do whatever you please because at the end of the day you will be protected by Labour".

It is an insult to law-abiding citizens who follow the rules and stick to the development permit conditions, Cacopardo said.

Describing the scheme as an admission of failure in enforcement, he noted that the number of infringements continues to increase, year-on-year, showing the Planning Authority’s inability to act against those that are defiant.

The government should instead start the process to reverse areas marked for development in the 2006 rationalisation exercise, the ADPD chairman said.

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