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Planning Authority Commercial Permits Malta

The new MEPA categories for commercial properties in Malta were published on the 28th February 2014.  Here you may find abridged information related to the new categories, and their subclasses presented in a user-friendly structure.

MEPA Permits for Commercial Property in Malta information presented includes the activities and operations that are permitted under the new guidelines for commercial property in Malta as indicated by MEPA.


CLASS 1 – Dwellings

Use as a residence, whether as a sole or main residence, by any of the following:
(a) a single person or by people living together as a family;
(b) not more than six residents living together, including a household where care is provided for residents;
(c) lodging of not more than sixteen persons, provided that the operation is licensed by the Malta Tourism Authority and the premises are located within an Urban Conservation Area;
(d) a resident concurrently with his or her occupation or business, provided that it is identified as the ordinary residence of the person undertaking the occupation or business and the activity:
(i) uses less than half the residential floorspace of the dwelling capped at 50 sq m provided that the minimum dwelling size is not prejudiced;
(ii) relates to beauty and wellness related services, or professional offices, or medical services, or education, or any other activity which in the opinion of the Authority is compatible with residential use;
(iii) is not a client intensive activity;
(iv) does not generate a disproportionate vehicular traffic or parking which is detrimental to the amenity of the area in which it is conducted;
(v) can be carried on in any residential area within the Development Zone without undue detriment to the amenity of that area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust, grit, light, radiation or incompatible visual impact; and        (vi) is conducted in a residence which does not form part of a block of apartments or any other block of buildings accessible from an external common entrance.


CLASS 2A – Residential Institutions

Use for either of the following:
(a) residential accommodation and care to people in need of care other than a use within Class 1 (Dwellings);
(b) hospital or nursing home;
(c) medical clinic;
(d) clinic for professionals complementary to medicine.

CLASS 2B – Non Residential Institutions

Use, other than residential use, for any of the following:
(a) display of works of art other than for sale or for hire;
(b) museum;
(c) public library or public reading room;
(d) public hall or exhibition hall.

CLASS 2C – Education

Use for either of the following:
(a) kindergarten, creche, day nursery or day centre;
(b) residential or non residential school, college or training centre.


CLASS 3A – Guest Houses, Palazzini, Boutique Tourism

Accommodations and Hostels
Use for any of the following:
(a) guest house;
(b) palazzino;
(c) boutique tourism accommodation;
(d) hostel, where no significant element of care is provided, but excluding premises licensed for the sale of alcoholic liquor to  persons other than residents.

CLASS 3B – Hotels

Use for hotel

CLASS 3C – Assembly and Leisure

Use for any of the following:
(a) cinema;
(b) concert hall or theatre;
(c) swimming bath or pool, skating rink, gymnasium, health club, sauna, sports hall, or other indoor or outdoor landbased
sports or recreations not involving motorised vehicles or firearms.

CLASS 3D – Marine Leisure

Use for any of the following:
(a) mooring boats and/or as a marina;
(b) diving, sailing, or windsurfing school or other marine- based sport or recreation.


CLASS 4A – Financial, Professional and Other Offices

Use for any of the following:
(a) financial services;
(b) professional services (including doctors, lawyers, dentists);
(c) any other offices of a comparable nature.

CLASS 4B – Retail

Use for any of the following:
(a) retail outlets;
(b) display for sale of goods excluding motor vehicles.

CLASS 4C – Food and Drink Establishments where no cooking is allowed

Use for establishments catering for the preparation and sale of hot or cold food or drink for consumption on the premises where no cooking is allowed.

CLASS 4D – Food and Drink Establishments where cooking is allowed

Use for establishments catering for the preparation and sale of hot or cold food or drink for consumption on the premises where
cooking is allowed.


CLASS 5A – Light Industry

Use for any of the following:
(a) research, testing and development of products or processes;
(b) craft business;
(c) any other light industry not falling under Class 5C, provided that, if any such use is carried out in a residential area, in the
opinion of the Authority:
(i) it can be carried out without detriment to the amenity of that area by reason of noise, vibrations, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust, grit, or visual impact; and                                                                                                                                                                     (ii) it does not generate a disproportionate vehicular traffic or parking which is detrimental to the amenity of the area in which it is conducted; and                                                                                                                                                                                                     (iii) it does not result in a significant increase in the number of employees previously engaged in the former use.

CLASS 5B – General Industry

Use for the carrying on of an industrial process not contemplated by Class 5A or Class 5C.

CLASS 5C – Specialised Industry

Any specialised industrial process for any of the following use:
(a) smelting, calcining, sintering or reducing ores, minerals, concentrates or mattes;
(b) converting, refining, reheating, annealing, hardening, melting, carburising, forging, or casting metals or alloys other than pressure die-casting;
(c) recovering of metal from scrap, drosses or ashes;
(d) galvanising;
(e) pickling or treating metal in acid;
(f) chromium plating;
(g) burning lime or dolomite;
(h) producing zinc oxide, cement or alumina;
(i) foaming, crushing, screening or heating mineral or slag;
(j) processing pulverised fuel ash by heat;
(k) producing carbonate of lime or hydrated lime;
(l) producing inorganic pigments by calcining, roasting or grinding, except where the above processes are ancillary to the getting, dressing or treatment of minerals and undertaking in or adjacent to a quarry or mine;
(m) distilling, refining, or blending oils (other than petroleum or petroleum products);
(n) producing or using cellulose or using other pressure sprayed metal finishes (other than in vehicle repair workshops in connection with minor repairs, or application of plastic powder by the use of fluidised bed and electrostatic spray techniques);
(o) boiling linseed oil or running gum;
(p) processes involving the use of hot pitch or bitumen in the manufacture of roofing felt at temperatures not exceeding 220ºC or the manufacture of coated roadstone;
(q) stoving enameled ware;
(r) producing aliphatic esters of the lower fatty acids, butyric acid, caramel, hexamine, iodoform, naphthols, resin products (excluding plastic moulding or extrusion operations and producing plastic sheets, rods, tubes, filaments, fibres or optical components produced by casting, calenering, moulding, shaping or extrusion), salicylic acid or sulphonated organic compounds;
(s) producing rubber from scrap;
(t) chemical processes in which chlorophenols or chlorocresols are used as intermediates;
(u) manufacturing acetylene from calcium carbide;
(v) manufacturing, recovering, or using pyridine or picolines, any methyl or ethyl amine, or acrylates;
(w) the carrying on of an industrial process which uses animal remains as the primary input or as part of the process of  manufacture.


CLASS 6A – Storage and Distribution

Use for storage (other than the storage, on land or on water, of boats) or as a distribution centre.
CLASS 6B – Boatyards
Use for any of the following:
(a) storing boats (other than in a marina);
(b) boat building;
(c) boat repair and servicing.


CLASS 7 – Agriculture

The carrying on of agriculture, which involves the intensive raising of crops or animals.


CLASS 8 – Aquaculture

Use for the hatching or fattening of fish.

Planning Authority Permits For Commercial Property In Malta

For technical information related to the change of use and application-related costs, your architect will be able to give you accurate information related to the specific commercial property at hand.  This includes application processing time periods, increase / decrease in costings, and other documentation that may be necessary to complete eligibility for change of use. Note that you may be required to produce a site map for application purposes, as zoning restrictions may apply to certain sub-locations and other regions.