The Malta Independent 24 June 2019, Monday

Mega sports village with hotel planned for abandoned Flower Power site

Kevin Schembri Orland Friday, 18 January 2019, 09:10 Last update: about 6 months ago

A planning application to construct a sports village on the abandoned Flower Power site in Ta’Qali has been filed.

The application, which is still in the early stages, shows plans for two full size football pitches, as well as a half-size intensive training pitch, a full size rugby pitch, a football and rugby club, a half-size scrum training pitch, six tennis courts, a sprint track, four paddle tennis courts, a sports health club, a sports hotel, three sports retail blocks, a sports complex, a sports rehabilitation clinic and two garden centre blocks. A parking area is also proposed.

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Back in 2015, The Malta Independent had reported how the site of the garden centre Flower Power, on Durumblat Road, had been allowed to deteriorate into a dumping ground for anything ranging from washing machines to televisions and construction waste. The place was abandoned, in October 2010, when the police were called in to investigate the ransacking of the place.

The site for this mega development is situated on land Outside the Development Zone, according to the public application form.  The total site area stands at 207,000 square metres. The commercial area, according to the plans, would use up around 4,000 square metres, excluding the garden centre.

The hotel itself seems to include a gym as well as an atrium and a number of meeting rooms, a restaurant and pools aside from hotel rooms.

This is not the only sports related application to have been filed on the site. Back in 2008, an Outline Development application was filed for Sports and entertainment complex-family theme park, however was later withdrawn by the applicant.

The site, as well as land adjacent to it, was also used as a film set in 2015 for Michael Bay’s film, 13 hours.

According to the Ta’Qali Action Plan strategy, the Planning Authority may permit a change of use from agriculture/ horticulture to recreation or sport purposes within the area operated as a garden centre/nursery. The strategy however does not permit the site to be used for retail uses, which could result in some issues for the applicant. The strategy also only allows building on the North Eastern part of the site. “A major constraint, because of noise impact, is the close proximity of residential property to the north of the Action Plan area. Care must also be exercised to make sure development is compatible with adjacent or proposed recreational uses.”

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