June, 10, 2019

It only took one hour for the Planning Authority’s Irrestawra Darek grant scheme to be fully taken up. The 3rd edition of this popular scheme which was launched early last month and opened today, received over 750 online submissions with requests amounting to over €8 million. Due to the overwhelming response the Authority has had to close off receiving any further submissions. Submissions were received on a first come first serve basis.

While the scheme has been closed for privately owned residential properties located within Urban Conservation Areas (UCAs) and Grade 1 and Grade 2 scheduled residential buildings, the Authority is still receiving submissions for restoration and conservation works concerning streetscapes.

This year, as an incentive to promote a more homogenous approach and improve the streetscapes of our traditional village cores, the Authority allocated €1 million of the funds for this purpose. Here individual properties are being given up to €20,000 each. This on condition that the cluster of residential properties add to not less than 50m of the streetscape. The properties need to be within an Urban Conservation Area? and may include a commercial component. Within the hour from opening the scheme the Authority received 12 submissions within this category.

Johann Buttigieg, Chairperson of the Planning Authority’s Executive Council said “online submissions came pouring in like never before. For the 3rd year in a row, the Irrestawra Darek scheme has been a success story. This is a tangible initiative and one way of how we are promoting the safeguarding of our village cores and scheduled properties. In total, over the past three years we have committed €23 million towards this scheme. The overwhelming demand shows that there is a thirst by residents living within urban conservation areas and in ‘historical’ properties to ensure that their property is well maintained and conserved.”        

As in previous years, the Authority will be funding 70% of the works, up to a maximum of €10,000. Owners of Grade 1 and Grade 2 scheduled buildings will be benefitting up to a maximum of €100,000 and €50,000 respectively. Such properties, not only are eligible for a rebate on works covering the façade but also to the interior and garden architecture of the property.

The €5 million that have been made available for this year’s scheme come from the fees the Authority generates from the regularisation process application. The regularisation process application provides property owners with a ‘one-time opportunity’ to regularise existing non-conformant developments located entirely within the development boundaries.