The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage is a designated statutory consultee to the Planning Authority on cultural heritage. The role of the Superintendence includes advising and coordinating with the Planning Authority on issues regarding land use and development, to safeguard cultural heritage when considering applications for planning permission relating to development effecting objects, sites, buildings, or landscapes, which form part of the cultural heritage.
This responsibility emanates from both the Development Planning Act, 2016 and the Cultural Heritage Act, 2019. Consequently, the Superintendence is consulted on all full development applications received at the Planning Authority as well as other application types (Development Notification Orders, Regularisation applications, Dangerous Structures, Planning Control applications), which may have a bearing on cultural heritage. The Superintendence, in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (CHAC), makes recommendations and sets cultural heritage relevant conditions to guide planning decisions aimed at safeguarding the cultural heritage in the Maltese Islands.
Since May 2016, the Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (CHAC) has been chaired by the person occupying the role of Superintendent of Cultural Heritage. The CHAC has a direct advisory role to the Superintendence. A list of members forming the committee can be found here. The Superintendence is also notified by the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) when an appeal against a decision is lodged. It may be requested to attend sittings to act as an external consultant or a witness during the proceedings. The Superintendence is also consulted by other entities on various matters in its remits, such as Transport Malta, which consults on all road works applications received, and the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), which consults it on Project Description Statements and Environment Impact Assessments.