New road put forward to facilitate new dwellings east of Trade Fair grounds

The architect of the project is also designing a proposal for a 500-apartment and office complex to be built on the site of the former Trade Fair.   

A new road system is being proposed to serve “potential residential development” on a 12,031sq.m site located north and east of the Trade Fair grounds and to the west by Triq Santa Marija.   

The area presently consists of agricultural land enclosed within the development zone which had been designated as a “white area” where development is not allowed in the Temporary Provision Schemes approved in 1988. The land is owned by four different owners.

The proposed road will link Triq Santa Marija to Triq il-Gwiedja at the edge of the Trade Fair grounds and Sqaq Pezza.

The architect of the project, Ray Demicoli, is also designing a proposal for a 500-apartment and office complex to be built on the site of the former Trade Fair.   

Recently another separate application presented by the owners of Villa Arrigo was requesting the introduction of a cul-de-sac off St Paul’s Street to cater for the new residential plots.

Both the Trade Fair grounds and the area along Triq Santa Marija have been earmarked for development in the notorious local plans approved in 2006 under the tutelage of former planning Minister George Pullicino.

The Central Malta Local Plan stipulates that the PA can only consider planning applications in this area following the approval of “satisfactory comprehensive road schemes.”

The local plan claims that residential development in this agricultural area constitutes an“efficient use of land”. But according to the same plan, residential development and the required street layout are to be planned in a sensitive manner that respects the adjacent Urban Conservation Area of Naxxar (UCA).

For this aim, the local plan stipulates that vehicular access should only be allowed from Triq Santa Marija. Wherever possible, the street layout is also to provide for suitable pedestrian links to the urban core area and the Secondary Town Centre.

According to the local plan, major residential developments at Il-Gwejdja and Triq Santa Marija will create further demands for recreational space in the locality. Instead of obliging the developers of these sites to provide open spaces onsite, the local plan obliges them to finance the upgrading of another site administrated by the local council.

Reacting to the proposed Trade Fair grounds development, residents in Naxxar have been appealing the government to amend the local plan to ensure that developments in the area will retain large-scale open spaces, which can be used by the public.

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