Planning Authority launches Magħtab planning strategy guidance for public consultation

The Planning Authority has issued for public consultation a new planning strategy guidance for the Magħtab area aimed at addressing 'planning lacunas' for the Magħtab area in the Central Malta Local Plan

The proposed guidance designates a boundary that encapsulates the predominant committed development areas of Magħtab
The proposed guidance designates a boundary that encapsulates the predominant committed development areas of Magħtab

The Planning Authority has issued for public consultation a new planning strategy guidance for the Magħtab area aimed at addressing the “planning lacunas” for the Magħtab area that exist in the Central Malta Local Plan and at improving the environmental context of the area.

With the consultation open until 30 March, the proposed guidance designates a boundary that encapsulates the predominant committed development areas of Magħtab, the Planning Authority said. These areas, namely animal husbandry, arable farming, residential, industrial and waste management utilities, have been classified as character areas.

The Planning Authority added that the proposed policy framework identifies specific policy guidance for each of these areas. However, it singles out agricultural activity as the priority land use, stating that it should encouraged and sustained. “It [agricultural activity] is the most important positive contributor towards the long term conservation of the wider rural character and context of the area,” the Planning Authority said.

“While Magħtab accommodates a wide variety of land uses, many of which conflict with adjacent land uses giving rise to a disorganised appearance and a decline in rural quality, this proposed policy is seeking to prevent the further development of incompatible uses in the area while directing further growth to specific character areas,” it said.

The Planning Authority went on to say that the policy presents an approach which seeks to reach a balance in land use by allowing the consolidation of these character areas through sustainable development, and the protection of the overall rural character and wider rural context of the Maghtab area.

The proposed policy also reportedly delineations the Magħtab residential settlement area on the basis of the predominant cluster of dwellings in the central area of Magħtab with frontages onto Triq il-Kappella ta’ Santa Marija up to the Santa Marija Chapel and part of Triq ir-Ramla that form a consolidated settlement streetscape. “To safeguard this residential settlement area, the plan proposes the creation of an arable farming buffer area between the animal husbandry area and the residential area to retain an adequate buffer between the two land uses,” it said. “Within this buffer area, new animal farming is restricted to allow for an appropriate buffer between residences and farms to limit impacts.”

The consideration of firework factories and fuel service stations is not supported within the Magħtab Planning Strategy Area, in the interest of protecting the delineated residential settlement and the rural character, the Planning Authority added.

Input on the proposed policy can be made in writing through [email protected]

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