Naxxar development will create 2,635 new car trips

The former Trade Fair car park will likely generate over 2,500 new daily car trips following a nine-storey development

The former Trade Fair building
The former Trade Fair building

The latest nine-storey development proposed on the grounds of the former Trade Fair’s car park in Naxxar is likely to generate 2,635 daily car trips to and from the new development which will also include a supermarket.

This emerges from a study carried out by planning consultants ADI which calculates the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT), which is the total traffic that passes along a road throughout a year, divided by 365 days.

Traffic is expected to peak at 3,129 car trips on Saturdays and at 2,891 car trips on weekdays. On Sundays less traffic is expected to be generated with the number of car trips falling to 861.

In view of the traffic generated by the new project the Environment and Resources Authority has called for air quality and noise studies.

Plans submitted by the developers foresee a 113-apartment block built over nine 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 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.

The rest of the trade fair grounds, partly owned by Scicluna’s 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.

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