The Planning Authority is proposing standard procedures for Social Impact Assessments (SIA) to become a requirement of the planning process.

With the practice Malta still in its infancy, the Planning Authority is seeking to introduce a standard procedure to guide the preparation of future SIAs.

To date, SIAs are only obligatory if a proposed project is making use of the tall buildings policy.

A social impact assessment (SIA) seeks to identify and manage both the positive and negative social impacts of planned projects or proposed policy-making. SIAs are used to mitigate negative impacts and identify opportunities to enhance benefits for local communities and broader society.

The Planning Authority is proposing that when plans or policies are being drafted, the Executive Council would assess the need for an SIA on a case-by-case basis.

However, when the Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) screening process identifies the need for an SEA on a plan or policy, this will automatically trigger the need for an SIA to be carried out. In proposed development applications, an SIA will become a requirement whenever the relevant plan or policy indicates it to be a requirement. All SIA reports shall be published.

The proposed procedures may be downloaded from the Planning Authority website www.pa.org.mt.

Comments and feedback may be sent to Planning Authority, SIA Procedures Consultation, Strategic and Policy Making Division, St. Francis Ravelin, Floriana, FRN 1230 or via e-mail sia@pa.org.mt. Submissions must be received by June 28.

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