A HOST of proposed legal amendments could significantly affect the way in which property is constructed in Gibraltar.

One of the changes would give the Development and Planning Commission (DPC) the power to veto government building projects.

Currently, the Commission can only make a binding judgement on private projects.

However, it is thought that the alteration would exempt the construction of government schemes judged to be urgently in the public interest.

The draft legislation will now be debated by the Gibraltarian parliament, but policy makers are optimistic the law will go through after its proposal by the government.

According to the bill, interior building works that do not impact on the external appearance of a building will also no longer require planning permission, although a developer will still require Building Control Approval.

Legislation will also require public participation periods – a set period of time whereby members of the electorate can challenge any planned development – to be set in terms of the number of working days.

Members of the electorate had complained that public participation periods had taken place over holidays and that they had therefore been unable to visit shut Town Planning offices.

“This addresses the issue which has arisen in the past where public participation has taken place over extended holiday periods and the public has not had access to our offices to view applications,” said a spokesman for Town Planning.

“This, together with the availability of all applications online – which has been in place now for a number of years – will ensure easy access to application details for the public.”

A further part of the proposal would now see the meetings of the Development Appeals Tribunal take place in public, unless it would not be in the public interest to do so.

It would also see the DPC obtain the power to apply an Enforcement Notice on any person in breach of planning control.