The Planning Authority has decided to extend, by a further month, the green initiative grant scheme which is seeking to alleviate urbanisation’s adverse environmental impacts and create healthier ‘green’ places to live in.
The scheme which is being carried out in collaboration with the Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning is providing 100% finance 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.
Private residences which fall within the development zone but are scheduled or within Urban Conservation Areas (UCAs) or villa/bungalow sites within Residential Priority Areas are not eligible. Properties including apartment blocks and penthouses that are eligible for funding must have their balconies overlooking a public street or space.
Martin Saliba Chairperson of the PA’s Executive Council said “we are very encouraged by 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. The concept of green infrastructure is new to Malta and so not only do we need to create more awareness about the wide-ranging benefits it brings to society, but we also need to invest and encourage university students to specialise in this sector.” Mr Saliba concluded “we are extending the closing date because we realised that persons who were showing an interest in this scheme were finding hard to engage the necessary expertise to submit their application.”
What does the scheme cover?
The €2 million grant scheme promises to refund 100% of the eligible works including all costs associated with labour works, material, hire of equipment, a 5-year maintenance plan and professional & consultancy fees. For the introduction of a green wall (including panels, plants and irrigation system within the front garden, including hardware, timers, fertigation etc.) there is a capping of €500/m2, while for green facades, this will be capped at €250/m2 for the groundwork and €35/m2 for the provision of a trellis. The retrofitting of front gardens will be capped at €500/m2. If the front garden is located above a basement, the capping will increase to €600/m2. The overall funding will be capped up to a maximum of €10,000 per
The reimbursement of costs will occur over 5 years, with 60% on completion of works and the remaining after the 1st, 3rd and 5th year after completion.
Who is eligible?
The scheme is aimed at private residences which have a front garden or apartment blocks, including penthouses, that have their balconies overlooking a public street or space. Shops and offices with existing front gardens within these areas may benefit from the scheme.
Residences which fall within the development zone but are scheduled or within Urban Conservation Areas or villa/bungalow sites within Residential Priority Areas are not eligible.
What works are covered?
The scheme applies to the creation of green walls or facades and the retrofitting of existing front gardens. A green wall is a wall covered with plants that are growing in modular containers or on special material attached to the wall.
For the introduction of a green wall – including panels, plants and irrigation system within the front garden, including hardware, timers, fertigation etc – there is a capping of €500/m2.
When it comes to green facades, created by cultivating climbing plants up and across a facade of a building from plants grown in garden beds at its base, this will be capped at €250/m2 for the groundwork and €35/m2 for the provision of a trellis.
Green retrofitting reduces the area of hard landscaping and increases the area of soil space and planting. The retrofitting of front gardens will be capped at €500/m2. If the front garden is located above a basement, the capping will increase to €600/m2.
How to apply?
The funds for this scheme are being made available by the Authority from the fees it generates from 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 upkeeping. To facilitate the processing of the submissions, requests for funding are to be made by Periti through the Authority’s online e-Applications system. To apply, contact the Malta Business Agency team.