Planning Board approves request to develop new Xewkija business centre

The Planning Board today also sanctioned the l-Arka ta’ Noe Zoo in Siggiewi

Xewkija Business Hub
Xewkija Business Hub

A new multi-purpose hub business centre which should generate employment opportunities in the future, received planning permission by the Planning Board earlier today.

The business centre will replace the ex-Malta Diary Milk Processing Plant in the industrial estate of Xewkija. While the old processing plant will be demolished, the administrative block of the old plant which is a protected Modernist building, will be restored and used to house offices, conference rooms and ancillary facilities. A 60 space car park will be constructed underneath the business centre.

The Administration Building of the former milk factory which is to be restored is a 1950’s modernist building designed by the renowned Maltese architect Joseph George Huntingford. The building is characterised by a streamline design, devoid of any ornamentation, using cantilevered canopies and window hoods in concrete.

A project to turn an existing dwelling and some of the surrounding land into a new therapeutic centre for the rehabilitation of drug abusers also received planning permission. The site is located outside the limits of development in the Ta’ Kandja area, limits of Siggiewi.

The project will also include the construction of the main building which will house an administration area, 10 bedrooms, common rooms and a crafts room. Ancillary facilities consisting of a sports pitch and animal paddocks will also be developed. An agricultural area will also be formed.

The Board agreed with the planning directorate’s recommendation that given the nature of the centre it is fundamentally essential for the facility to be located away from a high density area, to within a remote environment. This will safeguard the residence and help in their recovery.

The therapeutic ‘L-Arka ta’ Noe Zoo’ which is situated in the limits of Siggiewi, adjacent to the area known as Ta’ Bur ix–Xewk was also given the green light.  The zoo is located within an area characterized by a mix of soft stone quarries, some restored back to agricultural land and cultivated whilst others are either abandoned or disused quarries.

The permission is to sanction the zoo’s facilities which include stores, cages for the animals, ponds, stables and restrooms. The Board imposed a fine of €50,000. Additionally, as a social responsibility the Board also bound the applicant to provide free educational school visits equivalent to the sum of €50,000. An agreement needs to be reached between the owner of the zoo and the Education Department.   

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