The Malta Independent 1 March 2021, Monday

PA requests revised plans for five-storey Naxxar apartment block

Thursday, 21 January 2021, 16:10 Last update: about 2 months ago

An application for a block of 72 apartments has been sent back to the drawing board after the Planning Authority's (PA) board members were concerned that it could have a negative impact on the Urban Conservation Area (UCA) of Naxxar.

The block of apartment was proposed by Charles Camilleri, where the building would be located next to the former trade fair grounds.

The PA's chairman, Vince Cassar, remarked that he would like to see more greenery in the design, as well as more sense in the stylistic design of the development in order for it to fit in with the area. The developers accepted to address the changes needed that Cassar highlighted.

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A zoning application, approved in 2017, set a building height of 17.5 meters in this area of Naxxar, which would enable a number of pending developments to take place.

The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage and the PA's Design Advisory Committee had objected to Camilleri's proposed development due to the impact it would have on the UCA.

Although some board members expressed concern that the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage and the Design Advisory Committee had not reviewed the latest plans, PA Executive Chairman Martin Saliba insisted that the Planning Directorate had done everything possible to minimise the project's visual impact in its discussions with the developer.

The development was considered as a "positive development of the urban fabric" in a report endorsed by the PA's planning directorate, claiming the apartment complex will be "an adequate transition" between Naxxar's urban conservation area (UCA), and an as-yet unapproved nine-storey development adjacent to it which is stoking controversy.

Architect Tara Cassar from Din l-Art Helwa however insisted that the project will have a negative impact on the urban conservation area; simply painting a wall won't solve it.

Lack of a traffic impact assessment was also something that worried Naxxar Mayor Anne Marie Muscat Fenech Adami, who also voiced her concern about the visual impact of the project.

The case officer claimed that although the project will have a visual impact on the UCA, it is "mitigated" by "the potential future development of the buildings within the area".

A nine-storey development near the area - in the trade fair car park - was also postponed back in November. 


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