The Malta Independent 15 June 2024, Saturday
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San Gwann Mayor opposes proposed 7,000 sqm supermarket in locality’s ODZ

Saturday, 18 May 2024, 10:56 Last update: about 28 days ago

Mayor of San Gwann Trevor Fenech expressed himself against the Planning application for a 7,000 square metre supermarket in San Gwann’s ODZ, next to St Michael’s private school.

The Planning application, which has been inundated with objections, is currently being considered by the Planning Authority, which sees the development of a massive new supermarket on ODZ land, Times of Malta reported.

In a Facebook post, Fenech, in his capacity as Labour Mayor, said he will be against the application, and the Local Council will be proactive in the days and weeks to come.

Fenech said that the application should not have even been made. He appealed for residents to put their faith in him and his friends on 8 June, to continue having a Local Council which fights against these applications.

“I am filled with courage, especially after the Prime Minister spoke to me today and was clear about his support and the Labour Party's support for our cause,” Fenech said.

The proposal is to build a two-storey supermarket with underground parking on a 7,000- square-metre site on Triq tal-Balal and Triq tal-Prepostu, in an area of San Ġwann known as Ta’ Ġnien Tut.

The site is just over 250 metres from another supermarket, while an application for a supermarket and a DIY store with an underground car park on a site directly across the road is still being processed, the report said.

The application was filed by Joe Cassar on behalf of JDG Holdings Ltd., and is proposing to demolish existing structures, including illegal structures built on site, and develop the site in a supermarket with basement parking, stores at the ground and first floor levels and related offices.

The report said that the total area of the site is around 12,000 square metres, stretching also to Wied Ghomor and Wied il-Kbir, protected areas of ecological importance and sites of scientific importance.

Those who objected are insisting that the application is against the PA’s rural policy and objectives of the Strategic Plan for Environment and Development, which limits land take-up for uses which are not necessary or legitimate in rural areas.

In their representation filed with the PA, objectors argued that the locality has numerous supermarkets and the take-up of agricultural ODZ land, and said that land which is adjacent to a school, and a protected ecological area, is “certainly not necessary or legitimate.”

In her objection, St Michael’s senior assistant head Carina Gerada Sinnott said that this application “attempts to prioritise the construction of a supermarket over the health and well-being of our children and the protection of our limited natural environment.”

The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) also objected to this proposal, saying that it raises significant environmental concerns, and was considered objectionable from the environmental point of view.

“The ERA is also concerned about the further sprawl, proliferation and intensification of urban type interventions within an area ODZ and the further formalisation of the site, since this may inopportunely serve as a predisposition for other similar proposals within the area as well as on a national scale,” ERA said.

According to the public application form submitted by architects JG Periti, Pace is the sole owner of the site in question, but the PA website lists the developer as being Meleney Gauci, the report read.


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