The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Proposed changes to SmartCity plan ‘a radical departure from the original project’s purpose' - MDA

Thursday, 13 July 2017, 14:22 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Malta Developers Association, have described the proposed changes to the Master Plan for SmartCity as "a radical departure from the original purpose of the project that was meant to be an IT hub employing over 5,000 persons."

Recently, news reports read that SmartCity Malta Ltd wants to almost double the height limitation at various points, and that certain changes concern residential and commercial zones, changes to the phasing of the development so that certain real estate development will precede other areas.

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"While that vision could have justified the very low price with which public land was transferred to the developers of SmartCity, the proposed changes in the Master Plan render the project another real estate development in competition with private developers who pay very high prices to purchase developable sites."

In the circumstances, the MDA strongly insists that the requested changes in the SmartCity Master Plan should only be approved by Parliament if the cost of the land to the developers is increased substantially and equitably to match current market prices.

"The MDA has professional advice that the current state of the property market is a very healthy one and that the possibility of a property bubble is very remote. However, the sudden addition of a large number of residential units built on land acquired at an unreasonably low cost could negatively affect the current positive outlook of the property market."

 


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