100 new apartments to rise next to Mosta archaeological site

The 100 dwelling units, retail shops and car park will be built over a total of 5,900 sq.m, with the part of the site that includes archaeological remains being integrated in the development as a public space

Archaeologists have dated the Tal-Qares site back to the Bronze Age
Archaeologists have dated the Tal-Qares site back to the Bronze Age

100 new apartments and 740sq.m of retail space are being proposed in the archaeologically-sensitive Tal-Qares area in Mosta along Triq id-Difiza Civili, next to a recently approved showroom on an area added to the building zones in 2006.

The application comes with a proposal for “signage” and a “viewing platform” for the archaeological remains to be viewed by the public.

The remains, described as “important archaeological assets”, were found during an exhaustive archaeological investigation of the site.

The 100 dwelling units, retail shops and car park will be built over a total of 5,900 sq.m, with the part of the site that includes archaeological remains being integrated in the development as a public space.

The field on which the development will take place has already been cleared to enable the archaeological investigation.

A traffic impact assessment pointed out the shortfall in parking spaces due to the impossibility of carrying out excavations in the area because of its archaeological value. While the residences will require 116 parking spaces, only 80 parking spaces are being proposed. Developers say they will compensate for this shortage through a monetary contribution to the Planning Authority’s Urban Improvement Fund. The assessment concludes that the project will not have a negative impact on the capacity of existing junctions and roads.

The development is being proposed by Attard Developments.

Archaeologists have dated the Tal-Qares site back to the Bronze Age. It is known to include vine trenches, ancient quarries, plenty of ancient rock features, several water cisterns and water harvesting systems and an extensive ancient wall built with large square stones. Neighbouring fields also show important Roman remains and pottery sherds litter the land.

In August 2017, the PA controversially approved a four-storey block by AX Holdings, consisting of a showroom, maisonettes, apartments, penthouses and basement garages in an adjacent site.

The area had been added to development boundaries in the 2006 rationalisation despite its designation as an ‘Area of Archaeological Importance’.

[email protected]

More in Townscapes