When news outlets publish such items, I immediately observe an uptick in forwarded WhatsApp messages where individuals send me such links. People  are curious about the rationale behind these singular decisions, especially since the same planning commission approved additional stories for different sites earlier this month.

A common assumption arises that the Planning Authority has abruptly shifted its goals or introduced new policies without warning. However, the flexibility exercised by planning commission members is what affords them the ability to make discretionary decisions. This flexibility might seem to lead to uncertainty, but it’s crucial to recognize that this discretion empowers commission members to assess specific site conditions and reach conclusions based on their own judgment about site context.

Hence, the conduct of the commission doesn’t necessarily indicate any illegal or arbitrary behaviour on their end. Different interpretations of factual contexts are possible, and various forums might perceive the situation differently. This explains why decisions can be challenged both on legal principles and factual grounds through the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal.  

If you’re interested, I can direct you to my publication entitled ‘Pencil development fl-iskema tal-izvilupp’ for more insight.