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Architect Alexander Bigeni has been Malta’s most prolific architect since the start of 2017, according to data obtained from the Planning Authority’s database.

Between January 2017 and the end of July 2021, Bigeni had a total of 637 planning applications approved, the vast majority of which were in Gozo. 

Second in the ranking is the firm Falzon & Cutajar, which racked up 543 approved permits over the same period. Architect Emanuel Vella had the third-highest number of approved permits – 442.

Bigeni’s success rate – the proportion of applications approved out of all those submitted – was 84%, while Falzon & Cutajar’s was 81% with Vella coming in at 82%.

Bigeni, who has been associated with a number of controversial projects, was recently in the news after Lovin Malta reported that the Kamra tal-Periti – the body which regulates Malta’s architects – had started an investigation into alleged misconduct, including professional negligence, misconduct or malpractice. 

There were a total of 23,993 approved permits, submitted by 742 architects, during the period under review – an average of 32 approved permits per architect. 

The top ten most prolific architects accounted for roughly 17% of approved permits, with 4,014 approved permits between them.

It is important to note that all works on a property require a permit, meaning that the proposed works in any application can range from erecting a fence in a field to a massive tower complex. 

Another consideration is the fact that not all architecture firms are the same size and are therefore able to take on different levels of work.  

The data used for this analysis was scraped from the Planning Authority website as part of Lovin Malta’s Planning Web project and includes all decisions on Planning Applications between 2017 and 2021. You can look up any individual architect in the dashboard below.

The project aims to place the spotlight on Malta’s planning process and to guide future discussions on how the construction and development sector should evolve going forward.

Alexander Bigeni also emerged as the most prolific architect when considering outside development zone applications.

Since January 2017 Bigeni has had 224 permit applications approved out of a total of 279 – an 80% success rate.

Second in the ranking is Charles Buhagiar with 210 permits approved. Unlike Bigeni, Buhagiar has a relatively low success rate 59%.

Lawyer-architect and government consultant Robert Musumeci comes in third with 164 permits approved out of a total of 199 – and 82% success rate.

While statistics on the number of permits each architect has had approved can give an indication of certain trends, it must be stressed that there isn’t anything in and of itself suspicious in an architect having a large number of approved permits, or otherwise.

There are a number of justifiable forms of development which can be applied for in ODZ, including those related to agricultural activities.

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