Marsaskala 9-storey old people’s home approved

The Planning Commission has approved the outline permit for the construction of an old people’s home next to the new Marsaskala primary school

Aerial view of the site marked in blue where a private old people's home will rise to nine floors. The new Marsaskala school has been built in the field adjacent to the blue triangle but is not visible in this dated photo.
Aerial view of the site marked in blue where a private old people's home will rise to nine floors. The new Marsaskala school has been built in the field adjacent to the blue triangle but is not visible in this dated photo.

The Planning Commission has approved in principle the construction of a nine-storey old people’s home in Marsaskala.

Although the area has a height limitation of four floors and semi-basement, the home for the elderly benefitted from the policy that allows two additional floors for new retirement homes.

The land where the home will be built is adjacent to the new primary school and the local council had warned the retirement home would cause parking mayhem in the area.

The application for the project located in Triq il-Lampuka, corner with Triq Patri Wistin Born, was submitted by Michael Axisa on behalf of Lay Lay Co. Ltd.

The case officer had originally called for the refusal of the application.

The outline permit approved this morning by the Planning Commission is for a nine-floor building and two levels of basement parking.

The nine floors will be fitted in the overall height of seven floors, which translates to a maximum metric height of 29m.

The developers will still have to apply for a full permit but the issue of an outline permit means that only minor changes to the design of the building can be made before its final approval.

One of the conditions to allow the existing building height limitation to be exceeded is that such development must respect the surrounding urban context.

The case officer had expressed doubts on whether the height of the old people’s home will respect the urban context in which it will be located.

But the Planning Commission accepted the application after the developer submitted an urban study, which still has not been published on the PA’s website.

The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage had also insisted on the archaeological evaluation of the site prior to the issue of a development permit.

The architect replied that since the application is an outline one the archaeological investigations can take place at a later stage before the full permit is issued.

But the case officer had insisted on the evaluation of the site before the issue of an outline permit as this had a direct bearing on whether the basement levels which are providing the necessary car parking space may be permitted.

The new institution will cater for 80 beds in 32 rooms, and will include 400sq.m. of clinic rooms and ancillary uses.

The case officer described the basement access as “substandard being at an awkward angle to the public road”.

The Marsaskala local council had strongly objected to the application, describing the height of nine storeys overlooking the school as excessive.

“The council is definitely against this height since it will not respect the adjacent school and buildings in the immediate surroundings,” the objection read.

It also warned that by approving the application the PA will set a dangerous precedent because the parking being provided is much less than the required amount.

This development will attract not just patients and medical personnel and staff but also visitors. “This is going to create parking havoc right next to a newly built school and much inconvenience and chaos to the neighbouring residents,” the council said.

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