A green reform of the Development Planning Fund (DPF) will lead to more environmental and green projects in our localities, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia said.
Following consultations, the Minister announced a number of changes to the DPF, with the aim of encouraging greener and more socially conscious planning projects by local councils, NGOs and third parties.
The salient changes are the following:
- Green and Blue environmental measures in urban areas will for the first time be eligible for 100% funding, rather than requiring local councils to fork out a 30% co-financing rate of total eligible costs;
- When beneficiaries work on vertical green walls overlooking public spaces, the scheme will also finance part of the maintenance – a total of 105% funding;
- Local councils will for the first time have increased funding security, with funds specifically directed for their projects;
- For the first time, NGOs and other non-local council beneficiaries will have 20% of the total funds in the scheme ring-fenced for their projects;
- Percentage of funding is being increased in the case of partnerships of various kinds in addition to the current arrangements;
- Funding for projects aimed at facilities for persons with disabilities will increase by 10%;
- Each local council’s capping will increase from €5 million to €7 million, giving those localities with significant urban development more funds to mitigate with green and blue infrastructure projects;
- ‘Sebbaħ il-Lokal’ initiative has also been extended from April 2020 to December 2022.
“These changes are part of a holistic overhaul of the concept of planning – shifting towards more intelligent planning and a greener vision for our localities,” Minister Farrugia said.