ADPD objects to proposed shopping mall and hotel in Marsaskala ODZ

Deputy chairperson Carmel Cacopardo pens objection to proposed ODZ shopping mall and hotel

ADPD has submitted an objection to a development proposal for a shopping mall and hotel on ODZ land in Marsaskala.

The commercial development, which includes a supermarket, retail outlets and restaurants, is being proposed outside development boundaries next to a petrol station approved in 2018. Another supermarket is situated just 155 metres away from the proposed development.

ADPD deputy chairperson Carmel Cacopardo wrote in the objection that the application should be refused because it will generate traffic and increase carbon and other emissions in the area.

It should also be refused because there is a glut of hotel beds on the islands, with the number of approved hotel beds is twice the number of beds that are actually in current use, Cacopardo said. He cited a Deloitte study titled “Carrying capacity study for tourism in the Maltese Islands”.

Moreover, the Planning Authority should reject the proposal because it is situated outside development boundaries, Cacopardo said.

The proposed development application was presented by Carmelo Abela, Mario Abela, and Joe Attard, who declared full ownership of the site.

As proposed, the development will consist of the excavation of three basement levels, including two parking floors and a basement supermarket. The development will also include retail outlets, a shopping mall, and, at the ground floor level, a gym and a fast-food outlet on the overlying second floor, with restaurant outlets on the third floor. A five-storey hotel is proposed next to the shopping centre.

The site currently includes an old dwelling and a garage, and a part of it was used for the storage of beach cleaning equipment. The illegal activity was sanctioned by an appeals tribunal in 2009 following an earlier refusal by the Planning Authority. However, most of the site is undeveloped and includes several trees and rubble walls.