Naxxar home will have negative visual impact: assessment

A proposed old people’s home in Naxxar will have a 'major negative' impact on the landscape character of the area where it is being proposed, environmental impact studies conclude

Photomontage showing view of old people’s home from Triq San Gwann in Gharghur
Photomontage showing view of old people’s home from Triq San Gwann in Gharghur

A proposed old people’s home in Naxxar will have a “major negative” impact on the landscape character of the area where it is being proposed, environmental impact studies conclude. 

This is because the development “will introduce a large, modern building to a site where there is currently a relatively inconspicuous, one-storey structure which is largely screened by mature trees”. 

The Environment Planning Statement includes photomontages showing a marked impact on views from Triq San Gwann in Gharghur and from Triq M.A. Murray in Naxxar.  But the development will be slightly visible from Triq Ghaxqet l-Ghajn in Gharghur. The visual impact is partly mitigated by a landscaping plan.

The proposed nursing home is set to accommodate 234 beds, on a site on the edge of the Naxxar Urban Area, which lies Outside the Development Zone (ODZ). 

The nursing home will be 12 metres away from the Mithna tal-Laqx. But the studies conclude that it is unlikely that vibrations during construction will have any impact on the mill’s structural integrity. 

A farm complex, part of which has been demolished, previously occupied the site.

Photomontage showing view of old people’s home from Triq M.A. Murray in Naxxar
Photomontage showing view of old people’s home from Triq M.A. Murray in Naxxar

The impact on geological resources is also considered to be hugely negative since it involves the extraction of 16,870 m3 of rock and the removal of 743 m3 of soil. 

The site where the nursing home is proposed covers an area of approximately 4,748 m2 and includes an unoccupied, derelict farm dwelling surrounded by disturbed land characterised by “demolition debris and other dumped rubbish overgrown with vegetation in part”.  A number of mature cypress and Casuarina trees are also found within the site, at the entrance to the dwelling, on Triq Gharghur. 

The applicant (GAP Holdings) justifies the location due to its proximity to existing medical facilities and good road links. The report also claims that in 2015 approximately 20,000 persons were on the government’s waiting list for a place in a residence for the elderly, with the biggest majority being in the northern and central regions of Malta. 

Moreover although being ODZ the development will be in close proximity to the centre of the settlement of Naxxar, being 390 metres from Naxxar parish church, thus conforming to official criteria aimed at ensuring that the elderly continue to remain connected to the community. 

The EIA report concludes that although the project would increase traffic, it would not have a negative impact on air quality. The Traffic Impact Assessment concludes that the project would generate an average of 455 daily car trips.

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