Marsaxlokk car park eyed for hostel and elderly home to residents’ dismay

Football club want government car park for project that includes shops, sports facilities, and old people’s home

The Marsaxlokk football club wants to build a three-storey hostel and another three-storey home for the elderly, over government-owned land that will host a new football ground and underground parking.

The original project was a car park developed by Projects Malta, then under Konrad Mizzi, and approved by the Planning Authority in 2016.

Now the football club is proposing a massive 22,500 square metre project for a new football pitch with seating and stands, a hostel, a home for the elderly, a social club, sports shop, pharmacy, and physiotherapy clinics. 

The parking area and football ground are situated along Triq il-Kavallerizza and Triq il-Port Ruman.

The 11-a-side football ground will include underlying club facilities, offices and the club HQ, above the parking area.

Originally, the car park, situated outside development zones, was objected to by the Environment and Resources Authority. The government had insisted it was the most suitable location because a large part of the site was already disturbed. But the area had also been proposed as a scheduled buffer zone for an Area of Ecological importance. 

The ERA had pointed out the area was degraded only because unauthorised parking and littering were allowed in the past, insisting this should not be considered as a “stepping stone” to turn the remaining agricultural land into a car park, which it deemed unacceptable from an environmental point of view.

Residents who spoke to this newspaper say the project is an eyesore for the residents’ houses that presently face the valley and expressed frustration at how public land is being dished out for a private development.

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