Environment authority objecting to Naxxar ODZ home for elderly

The Environment and Resources Authority is objecting to a proposed old people’s home on a 4,625 square metre site between Sqaq l-Imnieqa and Triq il-Gharghur in Naxxar

The Environment and Resources Authority has notified the developers that the ODZ development will lead to an intensification of development, which would commit the entire site
The Environment and Resources Authority has notified the developers that the ODZ development will lead to an intensification of development, which would commit the entire site

The Environment and Resources Authority is objecting to a proposed old people’s home on a 4,625 square metre site between Sqaq l-Imnieqa and Triq il-Gharghur in Naxxar.

The proposal involves the demolition of a derelict structure and its conversion into an old people’s home built over three floors.

GAP Holdings is invoking a clause in the Spatial Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED) to justify the development. The policy invoked by the developers states that community facilities like homes for the elderly could be allowed in appropriate locations in rural areas where “no feasible alternatives exist.”  GAP has also described the site as a “derelict” one.

The SPED advocates a sequential approach through which developers are obliged to first consider sites in the urban area before considering ODZ sites. Only this week GAP Holdings presented an application to build 69 dwellings on a vacant 2,000 square metre site within development zones in Luqa.

According to plans presented by GAP Limited only 360 square metres of the Naxxar site are presently built up. But the plans refer to a larger footprint taking up 1,970 square metres for a building built before 1978, of which 1,610 square metres no longer exist. The new project has a proposed footprint of 1,959 square metres.

The application envisions two basement-parking levels and development over a ground floor and two overlying floors.

But the Environment and Resources Authority has notified the developers that the ODZ development will lead to an intensification of development, which would commit the entire site. The ERA also informed the developers that an Environment Impact Assessment is required for the development.

An online petition against this development expresses the concern of residents that the development would increase pollution, and traffic congestion in Naxxar when there already are two large-scale, similar elderly facilities and when other non-ODZ land is also available for this development.

Another old people’s home is being proposed on land lying outside development boundaries set on a vacant 12,500 square metre plot of agricultural land in tal-Balal, Naxxar in the vicinity of Gharghur. Other ODZ homes are being proposed in Fgura along Wied Blandun, Santa Lucija near the Wied Garnaw valley and in Vittoriosa near the Ta’ Hawli valley.

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