The green initiative grant scheme, which seeks to alleviate urbanisation’s adverse environmental impacts and create healthier ‘green’ places to live in, will be extended by a month.
This was announced by the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia who explained that this scheme by the Planning Authority (PA) is providing 100% financing to private property owners who wish to introduce green facades or walls within their residence. The scheme also covers the green retrofitting of front gardens.
The minister said that green infrastructure has significant benefits for our environment, working to mitigate various impacts of urbanisation, densely populated areas, and climate change effects. Such planning can improve air quality and biodiversity protection, while greener streetscapes support an improved quality of life.
“We are very pleased with the response we received over these past weeks from residents interested to benefit from this scheme and introduce green infrastructure within their private properties. To date, we received 90 submissions which equate to nearly €750,000″, said Martin Saliba, Chairperson of the PA’s Executive Council. He explained that the concept of green infrastructure is new to Malta, so not only do we need to create more awareness about the wide-ranging benefits it offers society, but we also need to invest and encourage university students to specialise in this sector. “We are extending the closing date because we realised that persons who were showing an interest in this scheme were finding it hard to engage the necessary expertise to submit their application”, concluded the chairperson.
The €2 million grant scheme will refund 100% of the eligible works including all costs associated with labour works, material, the hiring of equipment, a 5-year maintenance plan, and professional and consultancy fees.
The funds for this scheme are being made available by the Authority from the fees it generates by means of the regularisation process application. The regularisation process application provides property owners with the opportunity to regularise existing non-conformant developments located entirely within the development boundaries.
The scheme will now close on Friday, 7th May 2021. The Authority has also published a guidance document to assist interested parties on issues related to what considerations to keep in mind before deciding which green infrastructure to introduce, what choice of living plants can be used, and their upkeep. Further information on the ‘Green Your Building’ scheme is available on the PA’s website.