The Malta Independent 3 December 2023, Sunday
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TMID Editorial: We need better planning

Friday, 17 March 2023, 10:34 Last update: about 10 months ago

The continued building up of the St Julian’s area has once again made headlines, this time with the latest plans for the Villa Rosa area development.

Two towers of 27 and one of 34 storeys that are planned to rise over St George’s Bay to host 789 serviced apartments, 247 hotel rooms and a total 16,000sq.m of office space. This will undoubtedly have a major impact on the area.


This is just the latest in a long line of projects and applications for this particular part of Malta. One here can mention Mercury Tower, the DB Group proposal, the recently approved  honeycomb tower as examples.

But one has to question the infrastructure of the area. If those applications not approved yet, are approved, and if all these towers are built…. What will the area really look like? As things stand now… most likely one big, constant traffic jam.

There is a high concentration of development in the Paceville area already, and with continued construction of such buildings, one truly wonders how the government plans to tackle traffic flow in the area, or upgrade the sewage systems to meet the needs of such rapid and drastic development in such a centralised point. Plans did emerge in the past for traffic management… but realistically speaking, would they be enough for the thousands of people one envisages that all these projects might collectively bring on a daily basis?

The density of development is undoubtedly going to cause problems if no serious management for the area takes place, and fast.

This, aside from the visual impacts of these high rise buildings which are forever changing the country’s skyline.

One of the biggest problems it that there isn’t any master plan. An attempt for a Paceville master plan years ago was an utter failure, but let’s be honest, the plan that was presented was an insult to the people. It just looked after the interests of a select few.

A proper master plan is needed, and the government has failed to provide one.

But it is not just an issue with high rise projects in the Paceville area. There are other localities that are facing issues not because of high rise projects, but due to the intensity of development they face from smaller apartment blocks. One could bring up the changing appearance of these towns and villages due to the lack of planning in terms of the way these buildings look standing side by side. A better job could have been done. One could also point out the sometimes questionable decisions in terms of how the authority opts to ‘protect’ heritage buildings or gardens.

What we need is better planning.

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