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Revised guidelines for standalone crematoria announced

The Planning Authority has revised guidelines for standalone crematoria to reduce land use.

It said the revised guidelines aim to provide clearer directives, particularly in terms of specifying search areas on the provided map. Originally set at 1.5km, the search area has now been reduced to 1km from the main urban zones, thereby limiting the amount of land available for crematoria development and minimising land usage. The search area in Gozo has remained unchanged.

Another important change from an environmental point of view now sees the inclusion of more comprehensive criteria regarding locations that are unsuitable for development of crematoria across the Maltese islands. This effectively reduces the number of potential areas for standalone crematoria, ultimately mitigating the impact of land use.

The first draft of the policy stated that if a crematorium ceases operations, any change in land use is strictly prohibited unless it involves restoring the site to an environmentally acceptable natural state. The newly updated policy goes even further, stipulating that if a crematorium remains unused for three consecutive years, there will be an obligation to remove all buildings and associated structures, including equipment, while restoring the land to an environmentally acceptable condition.

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