Agritourism with 675m2 of new buildings proposed in Zebbiegh

So far there have been five applications for agritourism projects, two in Gozo and three in Malta, none of which has been approved yet

james
James Debono
2 March 2017, 10:13am
A new application at Mgarr for agritourism is set over a massive area of 142,000 square metres
A new application at Mgarr for agritourism is set over a massive area of 142,000 square metres
Yet another agritourism project has been proposed, this time at Zebbiegh, just off Triq Sir Temi Zammit, Triq Ghajn Tuffieha and Trejqa Qanfud in the vicinity of the Imselliet valley and the San Anton School.

Set over 142,407 square metres, the agritourism will include 400 sq.m. of accommodation facilities, a 200 sq.m winery located at a corner between Triq Ghajn Tuffieha and Trejqa Qanfud, a 50 sq.m olive production facility and a 25 sq.m bee keeping facility. In total this would involve new development of over 675 sq.m.

Glorianne Camilleri presented the Mgarr application on behalf of VEMG Ltd, a company owned by Windsor Development Limited, which also owns the Park Hotel in Sliema.

The developers are also proposing seven more tumuli of olive groves around the accommodation facilities, over and above the existing six tumuli. Five tumuli of vineyards will be added to the existing 15 tumuli around the proposed winery. 

The site includes the buffer zone to the Ghajn Rihana, an Area of Ecological Importance, but the new buildings are not being proposed there. 50 bee colonies will be developed on the garigue area which will not be touched by new buildings.

Through the rural development policy guidelines approved in 2014 owners of agricultural land are allowed to construct up to 10 rooms over 400 square metres of floor space. Such a development may only take place on sites occupying 60 tumuli (67,000 square metres).

The site includes the buffer zone to the Ghajn Rihana, an Area of Ecological Importance, but the new buildings are not being proposed there
The site includes the buffer zone to the Ghajn Rihana, an Area of Ecological Importance, but the new buildings are not being proposed there
So far there have been five applications, two in Gozo and three in Malta, none of which has been approved yet.

The approved policy states that any proposed building “shall accommodate seven to 10 guest rooms with ancillary facilities which may include a swimming pool area” and that  “the building shall not exceed a total floor space of 400 sq.m”. 

The new policy also allows developers to incorporate other facilities like boutique wineries, horse-riding establishments and stables, swimming pools, olive oil production, bee keeping facilities, farm shops and other developments in the same area.

Two agritourism projects are being proposed in Gozo. One is being proposed by Ta’ Mena estates in the Ta’ Srug area of Xaghra and another one proposed by Jochen, Stephan and Salvu Tabone on agricultural land along Triq is-Sarg and Triq il-Horg in Kercem. 

In Malta an agritourism operation located in a single block is being proposed at id-Dwejra in Mgarr, to include 10 rooms for accommodation, a breakfast and dining area, a kitchen, a laundry and a lounge area and various amenities including a deer farm (already existing on site), a slaughterhouse, a pool area, a sizeable dwelling for the deer keeper, an olive press and a winery. The project is being proposed by entrepreneur Emmanuel Ciantar.

Another agritourism project was proposed by Rene Scicluna, the owner of the Falconry Centre in Siggiewi, in Munxar at Marsaskala. The proposed complex consisting of eight guest rooms and a restaurant, a semi-basement wine bar, a health and fitness centre, conference facility and a basement hosting an agro-food processing centre was shot down in a screening letter issued by the Planning Authority and the application was never validated.

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...