Naxxar braced for eight-storey high residential block near trade fair grounds

Open space at former Trade Fair grounds now faces second application for tower apartment block

The former Trade Fair grounds in Naxxar are the subject of a new development request, for a 113-apartment block built over eight floors on the site of the car park.

The application foresees the excavation of a three-level basement car park that will include a 1,400sq.m supermarket.

Offices are also being proposed on the first floor of the development, while shops are proposed along a new central square.

The development is being proposed by SPTT Properties Limited, a company formed this year by various commercial groups.

They include Dutch business group Wygron Beheer, Malta property group Belair, hotelier Ian Decesare’s Sonnet Inv, Ab Initio Limited, JND properties, L.A. Developments, J&J Holdings, IN Space, as well as other independent property owners and also legal consultants.

The same area had once been identified for a 73-apartment block and 29 maisonettes back in 2004 by the company Fairs & Exhibitions Ltd.

The development was never approved.

The rest of the area, partly owned by Sciclunas Estates, is being earmarked for a 500-apartment and office complex in several apartment blocks ranging from two-storey housing to eight-story towers. Residents have opposed this project arguing that this will aggravate traffic problems and ruin one of the few open spaces in the locality.

The area is presently covered by “open fields, a football pitch and a parking area” adjacent to the former Trade Fair complex, which is owned by Sciclunas Estates and abuts on the grounds of Palazzo Parisio, a palazzo once used as the residence of the Marquis John Scicluna.

The local plan approved in the year 2006 states that the area can be developed as housing units.

In 2017 the PA approved development parameters for the site setting a building height limitation of 17.5m: this suggests that in the latest application the applicant is resorting to the Floor Area Ratio mechanism which allows the developer to surpass the height limitation envisaged in the local plan in return for creating more open spaces.

Recently an application foreseeing a new road system was 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.

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