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19th March 2012

The Development and Planning Commission met just before the Christmas break in order to give effect to a number of commitments made by the new Government in its general election manifesto and elsewhere.

The meeting was initially chaired by the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia until the chair was passed on to the Town Planner during the course of events. The Town Planner has therefore now been formally appointed as the Chairman of the Development and Planning Commission.

The Environmental Safety Group has been allocated a seat on the Commission.

A sub-committee of the Commission has been set up to deal exclusively with applications for minor works, building control and renewal of permits. This will expedite the process and place it in the hands of the professional civil servants in the relevant departments, in line with the policy of the Government.

The DPC is now made up as follows:

Mr P Origo – Town Planner – Chairman
The Hon Dr J J Garcia – Deputy Chief Minister
The Hon Dr J Cortes – Minister for the Environment and Health
Mr M Gil – Chief Technical Officer
Mr G Matto – Senior Architect, Technical Services Department
Mrs C Montado – Gibraltar Heritage Trust
Mr J Collado – Managing Director, Land Property Services Ltd
Mr K Bensusan – Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society
Mr C Viagas – Heritage and Conservation Officer
Mrs J Howitts – Environmental Safety Group
Mr P Naughton-Rumbo – Deputy Town Planner
Mr J Purser – Rep Commander British Forces
Mr E Francis – Secretary

Commenting on the implementation of some manifesto commitments in the area of planning, the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said:

“The policy of the new Government is to make the planning process work for the citizen and to open it up to public scrutiny. We are pleased to have implemented some reforms already which will allow the professionals to make decisions and expedite the procedure in relation to minor applications. There is still plenty more work to be done. Meetings of the DPC will be held in public and the entire planning process will be made available on-line.

We have started to work on these issues as well.”

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