Plans for ODZ supermarket along B’Kara bypass scrapped

Application abandoned a day after plans for an ODZ supermarket in San Gwann were dropped

Plans for a new ODZ supermarket along the Dun Karm Psaila ‘Birkirkara’ bypass have been abandoned for the second time in the past decade.

The application originally submitted by Jason Pace in 2022 but which later appeared under the name of Charlene Sciberras was withdrawn on 21 May.

The proposal was withdrawn just a day after another application for an ODZ supermarket near the pollinator garden in San Gwann was also withdrawn. The application was also originally submitted by Jason Pace but later appeared under the name of Meleney Gauci.

Both applications were submitted by architects JG Periti.

The same agricultural plot along the B’ Bkara had previously been earmarked for a Lidl supermarket in 2015 but the application was withdrawn after a few months.

On that occasion former MDA boss Sandro Chetcuti complained about the uneven playing field for those operators buying premium in development zones, while others acquire cheap ODZ land.

Although sandwiched between Birkirkara and the San Gwann industrial area and Mater Dei hospital, the ODZ status of the area creates a buffer between the two densely urbanised localities.

The Planning Authority’s own policy regulating supermarkets shows a preference for supermarkets located inside, or at the edge of town centres, to minimise car use, aimed at encouraging multi-purpose trips and making supermarkets accessible by public transport. But between 2006 and 2008 the PA had still controversially approved two Lidl supermarkets outside the development zones in Luqa and Safi.