Restaurants that have outdoor platforms will be expected to pay a planning gain amounting to twice the contribution they pay now for taking up parking spaces.
They will now be charged €4,192 for each parking space they occupy, according to a circular issued by the Planning Authority (PA).
“The Planning Authority Executive Council has decided that in the case of removal of on-street parking spaces for placing of tables and chairs a planning gain shall be imposed. This is to be calculated, as twice the number of parking spaces being removed – the first for the removal of the parking space itself and the other to make up for the additional parking generation. The contribution for each space is to reflect the planning contribution which applies for the area,” the circular read.
A policy that allows restaurants to take up parking spaces, as long as they allow a 1.5-metre passage for pedestrians, has led to a proliferation of platforms, especially in popular tourist hotspots such as Valletta, Sliema, Gzira and Marsaskala. It has been criticised by local councils for taking up parking spaces.
Funds raised from these planning gain tariffs will be used to fund traffic management, green transport, urban improvements or similar projects.