Now, let us stop for a moment to digest this opening statement and consider its applicability to Malta. Within any building industry there needs to be two broad regulatory systems in place, a town planning system that helps decide what a country needs gets built in the right place and a building regulation system that sets out minimum performance standards for the design and construction of buildings. In Malta, we have a broadly functioning town planning system in place but no building regulations. We also have a handful of buildings that can be considered as high-rise with many others wiggling their way through the town planning system. Within this context, some questions that come to mind include:
If the Grenfell tragedy can happen in such a mature building regulation system such as the one in the UK, the minimum the Maltese building industry can do is learn from the lessons of the Hackitt Report and proceed with caution … while remembering that fire safety is just one of a multitude of things that need to be carefully considered and integrated in these complex buildings.