The Malta Independent 23 June 2024, Sunday
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Application for huge supermarket on San Gwann ODZ land withdrawn

Albert Galea Monday, 20 May 2024, 13:06 Last update: about 2 months ago

A planning application to construct a huge new supermarket on ODZ land in San Gwann has been withdrawn by the applicant.

The proposal for a two-storey supermarket with underground parking on a site measuring some 7,000 square metres on Triq tal-Balal and Triq tal-Prepostu in San Gwann prompted backlash and revulsion when it was revealed on Saturday.

The supermarket was proposed on farmland which sits in an Outside Development Zone adjacent to the St Michael’s School, just over 250 metres away from another supermarket, and directly opposite a proposal for another supermarket which is still pending a decision.

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The application was filed by Meleney Gauci, although she was not listed as the owner of the site in the public application form.  The owner was listed as Jason Pace.

The Planning Authority was inundated with objections to the project, and Prime Minister Robert Abela added his voice to the chorus of disapproval, saying that the proposal was a “non-starter.”  San Gwann mayor Trevor Fenech also said that he was against the plans.

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.

St Michael’s senior assistant head Carina Gerada Sinnott said in another objection 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.

The application however, as of Monday, had been updated on the Planning Authority to state that it had been withdrawn by the applicant.

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