May, 03, 2019

The Planning Authority’s highly sought after Irrestawra Darek grant scheme will re-open for a third term, following two successful years whereby the Authority committed €18 million. The grant scheme is open for privately owned residential properties located within Urban Conservation Areas (UCAs) and Grade 1 and Grade 2 scheduled residential buildings. This time around, the scheme is allocating €1 million to promote a more homogenous upgrade of streetscapes within UCAs.

As in previous years the scheme is open for private owners of residences, located within an Urban Conservation Area (UCA), who wish to carry out restoration and maintenance works on the facade of their old property. Private owners of such residences may apply for a grant of 70% of the works, up to a maximum of €10,000. Owners of Grade 1 and Grade 2 scheduled buildings may also apply for a rebate on 70% of eligible costs of restoration and conservation works. These works may be carried out on the facade, interior and garden architecture of the property. Grade 1 buildings can benefit from up to a maximum of €100,000, whereas Grade 2 buildings up to a maximum of €50,000.

As an incentive to promote a more homogenous approach and improve the streetscapes of our traditional village cores, the Authority has allocated €1 million and is giving individual properties 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.

The €5 million that is being 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.

Johann Buttigieg Chairperson of the Planning Authority’s Executive Council said “Quality of life has many facades to it, one of which is the urban and built environment we live in. Over these past three years the Authority has committed €23 million to regeneration our village core areas. We look at this investment as part of our responsibility and duty towards our built heritage.”

He added “ Parallel with this initiative we administer another important ongoing funding programme better known as the Development Planning Fund. In just over two years, through this programme we have committed €12 million to providing localities with the necessary funds to renovate and create new infrastructure which is ‘community-centred’ - projects which improve the urban life of residents. We promise to keep working at finding innovative solutions and opportunities to make our towns and villages places that provides a quality of life to all.” 

 This scheme which will start on the 10th June 2019 is available on a first come first served basis and will close on the 30th August 2019 or before if funds get taken up. Works have to commence after 1st July 2019 and have to be concluded within 3 years. Fiscal receipts have to be presented and where necessary planning permission (if indicated in the letter of conditional approval) needs to be sought prior to works. Request for funds need to be submitted through an architect.

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