The Malta Independent 20 July 2019, Saturday

Roxy Cinema To be turned into mixed-use development

Malta Independent Saturday, 28 May 2011, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

The Art Nouveau façade of the Roxy Cinema in Birkirkara will be retained but all the rest of the building will be pulled down in a development for a multi-purpose block including shops, apartments, a child-care centre, offices and parking.

The site opens up at the back and the side to Triq il-Kolleġġjata and the Railway Station Garden.

Apart from the façade, the cinema has nothing to retain: its interior is ugly cement and the whole complex is very dilapidated, as are two other buildings which will also be pulled down.

The building is right on the edge of an Urban Conservation Area, so it could have underground levels which would not have been permitted if it was actually within the confines of a UCA.

On the side, the complex includes a vernacular house which is owned by the local council and is proposed to be converted into a child-care centre allowing children to play in the safe environment of the Railway Station Garden.

In another hearing, the Mepa board accepted to put off decision on an outline application regarding a site at Madliena.

This area is in villa area and is 3.6 tumoli in size. Under ordinary circumstances it would be split into three units but the applicant suggested that a unitary application could lead to better space planning and also more units (up to 8).

The issue facing Mepa was thus whether a single application is preferable to many single units next to each other, until it was noticed that some units would be as small as 75% of the size normally reserved for a villa (one tumolo).

Some members of the board argued for the holistic approach while others said agreeing to such an application would be setting a precedent for units on smaller footprints.

At the end, it was found preferable to suspend the debate for the time being. Also, the Mepa board finally approved an application regarding development of a site from an approved warehouse into offices at Sqaq Vjal il-Ħadid outside Luqa on condition that the scrap yard on another part of the site will be completely cleared and the land returned to agricultural use.

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